Top 10 Solutions for Climate Change

Project drawdown has been introduced to the top 10 solutions for climate change.

  1. Refrigerant Management

  2. Wind turbines

  3. Reduce food waste

  4. Adaptation of plant-rich diet

  5. Tropical forest restoration

  6. Educating girls

  7. Family planning

  8. Solar farms

  9. Silvopasture

  10. Rooftop solar

1. Refregirent Management

Every refrigerator and air conditioner contains chemical refrigerants that absorb and release heat. Refrigerants especially chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), were once key in depleting the stratospheric ozone layer, which is essential for absorbing the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Thank the 1987 Montreal protocol on substances that depleted the ozone layer CFCs and HCFCs have been phased out of use.

Solutions: In October 2016, officials from more than 170 countries gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, to negotiate a deal to address the problem of HFCs. Through an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the world will begin phasing HFCs out of use. Starting with high-income countries in 2024, others in 2008.

Impact: GHG reduction - 89.74 gigatons (GT) of CO2eq by 2050.

2. Wind Turbine

Wind turbines are rapidly becoming cost-competitive with electricity generated by coal-fired power plants. Which is good news, wind turbines as the second most effective strategy for reducing GHG emissions? They can build to power a single home or an entire island; they have a small footprint, occupying a small fraction of the land they sit on; and they can build fairly quickly.

Solutions: Today, 314,000 wind turbines supply 3.7 percent of global electricity. It will soon be much more. in 2015, a record 63 GW of wind power were installed around the world.

Impact: GHG reduction: 84.6 GT COeq by 2050

3. Reduce food waste

Reducing food waste as the third most significant strategy for reducing global GHG emissions. Approximately one-third of all food produced globally goes to waste. For many individuals, reducing food waste occurs from farm to fork. Composting and reduce food waste are among the seven most impactful actions that individuals and households can take to reduce their GHG emissions. The food we waste contributes to 4.4 GT emissions. The food we waste contributes 4.4 GT COeq into the atmosphere each year. It is roughly eight percent of the total anthropogenic GHG emissions.

Solutions: reducing food losses along production and supply chain

Impact: 70.53GT of reducing CO2eq by 2050

4. Adaptation of plant-rich diet

Plant-rich diet is the most powerful strategy for slowing and eventually reversing climate change Ruminants such as cows are the most generating the GHG methane. They digest their food. In addition, agricultural land use and associated energy consumption to grow livestock feed produce CO2 emissions, while manure and fertilizer emit nitrous oxide.

Solutions: With billion of people dining multiple times a day. It is possible to eat well, in terms of both nutrient and pleasure. while eating lower on the food chain and thereby lowering emissions. Meat substitutes made from plants are key to minimize the way of cooking and eating.

Impact: GHG reduction: 66.11GT to reduce CO2eq by 2050.

5. Tropical forest restoration

Tropical rain forest provides many ecosystem services, including absorbing carbon and filtering water, if these effects continue, these valuable ecosystems could be sequestered 61.23 GT of CO2 emissions by the year 2050. In Malawi, using trees-pronged approached of providing water filters, planting trees, and effective cookstoves have helped curb rapid deforestation, other regions have come up with solutions, like substituting using tropical forests for fast-growing bamboo as a firewood source in Africa and partnership with indigenous communities in return for forest production. When we lost forests primarily to agricultural expansion or human settlement carbon dioxide discharges into the atmosphere. Tropical forest loss is responsible for 16 to 19 percent of GHG emissions caused by human activity.

Solutions: Restoration of tropical forests, both passive and international is now a growing trend. As the forest ecosystem come back to life, trees, soil, leaf litter, and other vegetation absorb and hold carbon.

Impact: GHG reduction: 61.2 GT of reduced CO2 by 2050.

6. Educating Girls

Educating is a tool to change the world and lays a foundation for vibrant lives for girls and women, their families, and other communities. It is also the most powerful levers available for avoiding the emission by curbing population growth. The education gap also matters for global warming. Today more than 130 million girls are denied the fundamental right to attend school. Cultural barriers encompass traditionally belies that girls should tend the home rather than learn and should be married off at a young age. The difference between a woman with no year of schooling and with 12 years of schooling is almost four to five children per woman. Women with more years of education have fewer.

Solutions: Nobel laureate and girls' education activist Malala Yousafzai has famously said, "one child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world". 1). Make school affordable 2). Help girls overcome health barriers 3). Reduce the time and distance to get to school. 4). Make school more girl-friendly. 5). Improve school quality 6). Increase community engagement 7). Sustain girls' education.

Impact: 59.6 GT of reduced CO2 by 2050

7). Family Planning

Effective family planning strategies that focus on well being, education and empowerment not only lead to fewer GHG emissions but also less stress on natural resources.

Good examples from the world:

Papua New Guinea: Doctors have discover that involving men in family planning.

Africa: Drones are delivering contraceptives to individuals who previously lacked access.

Zimbabwe and the Philippines: Offering affordable birth control and related health services to women.

Colorado: Has to reduce teenager pregnancy and poverty

Solutions: In Bangladesh, the average birth rate fell from six children in 1980 to two now. Family planning requires social reinforcement.

Impact: 59.6 GT to reduce CO2 by 2050.

8). Solar Farms:

Solar farms provide an unlimited and clean source of energy. That in many countries is now cheaper than coal power. Solar photovoltaics are only two percent of the global electricity mix at present. They can also be implemented in a variety of climates and are projected to have a net operational savings of 5 trillion dollars by 2050 as countries and companies transition away from fossil fuels for energy. As solar energy becomes cheaper and more widespread, it will lead the way in a shift to renewable energy.

Impact: 36.9 GT of reduced CO2 by 2050

9). Silvo Pasture

Silvopasture is an ancient practice that integrates trees and pasture into a single system for raising livestock. Research suggests silvopasture far outpaces any grassland technique for counteracting the CH4 emissions of livestock and sequestrating carbon under hoof. Cattle and other ruminants require 30 to 45 percent of the world's arable land, and livestock produces roughly one-fifth of GHG emissions.

Impact: 31.19 GT of reduced CO2eq by 2050

10). Rooftop Solar

Installing rooftop solar has become an effective climate change mitigation strategy as well as poverty reduction tool. In grid-connected areas, rooftop panels can put electricity production in the hands of household start-up companies are bringing solar panels to rural areas in Bangladesh and Africa, bringing energy for the first time and requiring no energy grid. Rooftop solar has been an integral part of Germany's becoming a world leader in renewable energy.

Impact: 24.6 GT of reduced CO2 by 2050

The solutions are ranked by the amount of GHG they reduced by 2050.

About the Author: Ruwan Nishantha Gamage, Sri Lanka

Climate Activist and Co-Founder of "Solutions for Climate Change" Network in Sri Lanka

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