Selected Climate Solutions that Mitigate Climate Change and Provide Co-benefits

There are many climate solutions that mitigate climate change and provide co-benefits, such as biochar, which can be placed in the soil to sequester carbon and enable it to grow more food. Given below is a list of selected climate solutions with co-benefits. This includes a list of 28 climate solutions in the Drawdown Lift Initiative by Project Drawdown. Launched in 2021, Drawdown Lift advances the evidence for and disseminates knowledge about climate solutions that boost well-being, strengthen resilience, and contribute to poverty alleviation in rural communities in Africa and South Asia.

In addition to mitigating climate change, implementing these solutions on a large scale will help people in developing countries adapt to climate change and mitigate additional major problems, such as the global food crisis and forced migration. As a result, implementing climate solutions with co-benefits can help reduce conflict and increase stability in developing countries. This is very important since human security experts have identified climate change as a security threat multiplier, and there is an urgent need to mitigate the other problems it is causing as well.

Given below are selected lists of climate solutions with co-benefits:

1) Four selected climate solutions that mitigate climate change and provide significant co-benefits:

a) A proven climate solution that removes carbon from the atmosphere generates considerable benefits and can be implemented on a global scale is biochar. This product is produced from biomass in an oxygen-limited environment and is already being produced by many organizations. Since producing biochar from biomass and incorporating it into the soil is an internationally recognized way of removing carbon from the atmosphere, substantial money can be earned by creating it. To view more information about biochar and the opportunity to implement it on a global scale, visit this webpage we created: Biochar Overview: What it is, its benefits and an opportunity to scale it globally

b) An innovative algae growing system that produces healthy food-grade oils on a substantial scale by Global Algae Innovations, which received a million-dollar Carbon Removal XPRIZE for this technology. This company calculates that their technology can be scaled up to produce enough healthy food-grade oil so that this oil can replace all the palm tree oil production, which would enable the areas containing these palm trees to be able to be returned to back to ecologically diverse rainforests. If this did occur, billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide would be captured yearly as these rainforests grew back.

c) Cactus farming can capture substantial carbon from the atmosphere while producing valuable products. There is already substantial cactus farming occurring in the world using different species of cacti, with several groups advocating for a large scale-up of this type of farming. For example, Regeneration International is promoting its Billion Agave Campaign to plant one billion agaves globally to draw down and store one billion tons of CO2. The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) promotes the growing of spineless cactus pear (nicknamed the “green-gold”) as a source of fodder for livestock.

d) Bamboo rapidly sequesters carbon in biomass and soil and can thrive on degraded lands. Long-lived bamboo products can store carbon over time—video: Bamboo Harvesting and Manufacturing in a $100 Billion Industry. For more info, see Bamboo Production by Project Drawdown.

2) Shown at this link is a table of 19 selected solutions that mitigate climate change and provide co-benefits, which can be implemented in developing countries on a large scale: Selected Climate Solutions that Mitigate Climate Change and Provide Co-benefits.  This estimate includes solutions advocated by Project Drawdown through their Drawdown Lift initiative. The estimated impact of these solutions, if they were implemented globally, is in the range of 26 billion tonnes per year of CO2 reduced and/or sequestered. According to the Global Carbon Project, global CO2 emissions in 2022 were estimated to be about 40.6 billion tonnes annually. Therefore, if these climate solutions were implemented on a global scale, their impact would be very substantial.

3) Given below is a list of 28 climate solutions with multiple benefits that are being advocated by Project Drawdown through their Drawdown Lift initiative:

  1. Full list of climate solutions: Project Drawdown’s Table of Solutions.
  2. List of 28 “Drawdown Lift” solutions: Drawdown Lift Climate Solutions and shown below:
Solution # Description SECTOR(S) SCENARIO
S01 Abandoned Farmland Restoration Land Sinks 12.48 20.32
S02 Biogas for Cooking Buildings 4.65 9.7
S03 Clean Cooking Buildings 31.38 76.34
S04 Coastal Wetland Protection Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Coastal and Ocean Sinks 1.2 1.62
S05 Coastal Wetland Restoration Coastal and Ocean Sinks 0.76 1
S06 Conservation Agriculture Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 12.81 8.08
S07 Distributed Solar Photovoltaics Electricity 26.65 64.86
S08 Family Planning and Education Health and Education 68.9 68.9
S09 Farm Irrigation Efficiency Food, Agriculture, and Land Use 1.13 2.07
S10 Forest Protection Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 5.55 8.83
S11 Geothermal Power Electricity 6.15 9.17
S12 Grassland Protection Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 3.35 4.25
S13 Improved Rice Production Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 9.85 14.43
S14 Indigenous Peoples’ Forest Tenure Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 8.69 12.51
S15 Micro Wind Turbines Electricity 0.09 0.11
S16 Microgrids Electricity
S17 Multistrata Agroforestry Land Sinks 13.26 23.94
S18 Nutrient Management Food, Agriculture, and Land Use 2.77 11.48
S19 Peatland Protection and Rewetting Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 25.4 40.27
S20 Reduced Food Waste Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 88.5 102.2
S21 Regenerative Annual Cropping Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 15.12 23.21
S22 Silvopasture Land Sinks 26.58 42.31
S23 Small Hydropower Electricity 1.65 3.21
S24 Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 1.36 0.68
S25 System of Rice Intensification Food, Agriculture, and Land Use / Land Sinks 2.9 4.44
S26 Temperate Forest Restoration Land Sinks 19.42 27.85
S27 Tree Intercropping Land Sinks 15.03 24.4
S28 Tropical Forest Restoration Land Sinks 54.45 85.14
Totals: 460.08 691.32

* Gigatons CO2 Equivalent Reduced / Sequestered (2020–2050)

To view a fact sheet about the Drawdown Lift initiative, visit Drawdown Lift Fact Sheet.