Project Drawdown comes to Europe, includes hydro amongst solutions for sustainable greenhouse gas reduction

Europe’s efforts to combat climate change were bolstered today with the launch of “Drawdown Europe” — part of a global initiative called “Project Drawdown.”

The announcement took place during an event in Berlin that was initiated by the German Energy Agency (Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH, or dena), the European Institute of Innovation & Technology’s Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovative Communities), and European Climate Foundation.

Project Drawdown brings together academics, regulators, business leaders and others to “assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions in order to describe their beneficial financial, social and environmental impact over the next 30 years,” according to the California-based organization’s website.

To that end, Drawdown has evaluated 100 solutions to reverse global warming, including in-stream hydroelectric power, pumped-storage and marine hydrokinetics amongst measures that would help achieve “drawdown” — that is, the point at which greenhouse gases peak and begin an annual decline — by 2050.

“It is time for Europe to reframe its climate protection efforts,” said dena executive Andreas Kuhlmann. “This can be done in a way that encourages cooperation, understanding and action. We want to unite and strengthen the many activities that are already on the way in Europe, with a focus on opportunities rather than threats. That is the reason why we are starting Drawdown Europe.”

Per Drawdown’s 2050 projections, 9.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere through growth in the wave and tidal energy sector that would see it increase from .0004% of earth’s total production to .28%.

Drawdown’s projection for in-stream hydro shows up to 4 gigatons of reduced CO2 at a cost of around US$202.5 billion, resulting in more than $568 billion in operational savings.

Last, pumped-storage would retain its spot as the most economically-feasible and widespread form of energy storage, with a further increase in importance as utilities look to balance the intermittency of their growing renewable fleets.

“Project Drawdown shows that the solutions are there,” said Martin Rocholl, director of the European Climate Foundation’s Germany program. “Now, politicians need to act and set the political and economic frameworks so that these solutions can be implemented as soon as possible. Currently, political ambition does not match the innovation potential that already exists.”


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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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