How did we miss this?!?

WOW. In my focus on adjusting to our discombobulating ‘new normal’, I completely missed the release of data that — quite literally — holds the key to saving humanity. It seems I’m not alone.

And the results are quite surprising.

The tl;dr is that Project Drawdown (a global collaborative project involving hundreds of climate change scientists) released on 10th March 2020 the first update to their 2017 data which stack ranked the top 100 solutions to the climate crisis. SPOILER ALERT: in position #1 is reducing food waste. It comes above solar power, electric cars, onshore wind turbines and all the other poster-children of a sustainable future. Interestingly, adopting a more plant based diet is in position #3, and so it seems that perhaps we really can eat our way out of this crisis.

In addition to the rankings, the report contains 10 important conclusions:

  1. Drawdown is possible by the middle of this century, and we already have the solutions at our disposal (Drawdown is the point at which levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change).
  2. There are no silver bullets — a mosaic of solutions are required
  3. Climate solutions can help build a better, more equitable world (I would argue they ‘should’)
  4. The financial case is clear — taking climate action will unlock savings of $100+ trillion which is >4x the investment required of ~$25 trillion
  5. Reducing/replacing fossil fuels is a non-negotiable
  6. We need to get emissions to net zero and de-carbonise. The best analogy is that of a bath tub: we not only need to switch off the tap (net zero), we also need to let some water out (de-carbonisation)
  7. We’re often focusing on the wrong solutions e.g. food waste, protection of tropical forests, education & healthcare for women, and refrigerant management get very little attention vs on-shore wind turbines or solar power for example. And yet are significantly higher impact.
  8. ‘Accelerators’ are required to tip the playing field towards action e.g. regulatory & policy action, as well as the rapid movement of capital at scale
  9. Systems change is required — and we’re all change agents
  10. “Immense commitment, collaboration, and ingenuity will be necessary to depart the perilous path we are on”

Corona virus has forced a tragic pause on humanity, resulting in us collectively overlooking the Project Drawdown data. However we must seize the opportunity that this paralysis of the status quo presents, and ensure we rebuild a better, and more sustainable world as a matter of urgency. At OLIO we’ll be playing our part, knowing that reducing food waste is the most important thing we can do.




Co-Founder & CEO of OLIO, the food sharing app. Getting my head around the climate crisis. Passionate about sustainability, startups & diversity.

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Tessa Clarke

Tessa Clarke

Co-Founder & CEO of OLIO, the food sharing app. Getting my head around the climate crisis. Passionate about sustainability, startups & diversity.

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