Video  |  December 15, 2023

State of the Climate: Looking back at 2023 and ahead to 2024

From climate-fueled disasters to the just-completed COP28, climate change  has been much in the news this past year. At the same time, Project Drawdown has doubled down on our efforts to accelerate adoption of proven climate solutions.

In this latest in our series of monthly Ignite webinars, Project Drawdown executive director Jonathan Foley reflects on climate solutions action over the past year and shares exciting plans for 2024. 

Top Takeaways:

  • The past year brought sobering evidence of climate change – as well as encouraging news from those working to halt it. Many climate solutions are now cheaper than their counterpart carbon-intensive technologies and practices. Dozens of countries around the world have seen a decline in greenhouse gas emissions, and others are poised to join them.
  • Key to further progress is to “see the whole board”: cut emissions across all sectors with a focus first on immediately available, highly impactful, science-based “emergency brake” solutions; deploy carbon removal as needed; and engage multiple “accelerators,” including altering policy, shifting financial and human capital, and changing behavior.
  • In 2024, Project Drawdown will double down on our efforts to accelerate adoption of proven climate solutions with five bold new initiatives based on greatest opportunities to gain traction:
    • Drawdown Food Initiative – a new effort focused on high-impact opportunities to reduce emissions in the food, agriculture, and land use sector
    • Drawdown Biodiversity Initiative – groundbreaking work aimed at advancing solutions that address climate change and protect biodiversity at the same time
    • Drawdown Capital Coalition – a recently launched project to bring scientific expertise to investors’ and philanthropists’ decisions about where to best target funds for maximum climate mitigation
    • Global Solutions Diary – a new user-generated video series that will provide people around the world who are working on solving climate change a chance to share their stories and inspire others to act
    • Changing the Conversation – a major international advertising campaign to elevate hope and inspire climate action across countries, communities, and cultures.

As we lean into these new initiatives, we'll continue to accelerate ongoing efforts focused on deploying climate solutions as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. We encourage you to help by following this work as it unfolds, sharing it with others, offering expertise and insights, and bringing additional ideas to the table.

A brighter future is possible, and together we can – and will – make it a reality.

Useful Links:

Four Things You Can Do NOW:

  1. Share the webinar recording with colleagues and friends through a text, email, or social media post.

  2. Watch the Drawdown Roadmap video series to learn how strategic investment of time and money can halt climate change before it’s too late.

  3. Sign up for our biweekly newsletter to stay in the loop on the latest from Project Drawdown.

  4. Check out past Drawdown Ignite webinars for more insights on impactful approaches to halting climate change.

Press Contacts

If you are a journalist and would like to republish Project Drawdown content, please contact press@drawdown.org.

More Insights

Video  |  February 27, 2024
The climate solutions worth funding – now
There’s no question about it: We have all of the solutions to climate change we need. But which solutions should we deploy, and when and where should we deploy them, to have the biggest impact in the least amount of time?  In his latest TED Talk, Project Drawdown executive director Jonathan Foley presents the Drawdown Roadmap, a science-based framework for identifying the best solutions to use at the right time and in the right place to address climate change while improving human well-being and providing other benefits as well.  From emphasizing emergency brake solutions to elevating the importance of time over tech, the talk is sure to inform and inspire you as much as it did the live audience of executives, scientists, policymakers, artists, activists, innovators, and others at TED Countdown Summit 2023 in Detroit. Speaking to an invitation-only audience, Foley unpacked the Roadmap’s signature approach to allocating climate solutions funding to maximize returns on investment: 1) start with solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately; 2) deploy currently available solutions rather than count on new technologies to do the job later; 3) home in on geographic hot spots; and 4) prioritize solutions that also boost human well-being. Watch the video now by clicking on the image above – then share with colleagues and others who might benefit from this important message.
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Perspective  |  February 7, 2024
Room to grow: Identifying the best opportunities for improving crop yield
by James Gerber
The global food system isn’t broken, yet it needs fixing.  Agriculture is vital: It produces food for all of us, provides employment for over a billion people, and is central to many developing economies. It also is under a LOT of pressure: In the years ahead, it will need to meet growing demand while minimizing its environmental footprint and coping with a changing climate. If we improve yields on current farmlands, we can meet these needs without more land clearing – a huge contributor to climate change – and even allow some land to return to a natural state.  Technological improvements, from improved farming machinery, to readily available fertilizers, to the hybrid seeds of the Green Revolution, to computer-assisted modern farming technology, have dramatically increased productivity in the past. But how much more can yields be improved? And where? A study my colleagues and I recently published in the journal Nature Food examines this question through the lens of the “yield gap.” The yield gap is the difference between the per-acre or per-hectare crop yield farmers *could* obtain (the “yield ceiling”) and what they *do* obtain (the “actual yield”). Yield gaps aren’t necessarily a bad thing if it means that improvements are coming faster than farmers can apply them.  Take maize in the United States, for example. The yield ceiling has seen steady increase, thanks to research into improved cultivars, inputs, and farming technologies. The actual yield is steadily increasing as well, showing that farmers are adopting new technologies and practices at about the same rate they’re being developed, though with a bit of a lag.
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