Learn about Six Frameworks for Taking Regenerative Climate Action
If you are like many people, you’re probably wondering about what you can do to make a difference around the climate crisis and don’t know where to start. To support people like you, I was thinking about putting a comprehensive list of things individuals can do to make a difference. Then, I came across well-known environmentalist, Paul Hawken’s book, Regeneration, and the companion website, Regeneration, that includes a hub of information called Nexus.
Paul Hawken and the site describe Regeneration as a “radical new approach to the climate crisis, one that weaves justice, climate, biodiversity, and human dignity into a seamless tapestry of action, policy, and transformation…”
His recent work follows up on the research he did in Drawdown, which described 100 workable climate solutions. He is now creating a complete listing of what needs to be done to stop catastrophic climate change this decade and how various types of actors (individuals, cities companies, governments, etc) can take immediate action. He wants to “engage the majority of humanity … with climate solutions that directly serve our children, the poor, and the excluded.” To make this happen he outlines numerous solutions that go beyond solar, electric vehicles, and tree planting.
What I like about the Regeneration site is that it provides a wealth of supportive information and tools for all kinds of people. I recommend first checking out the captivating graphic depiction of the cascade of solutions. Then if you want to dig deeper, review the list of challenges, or calls to action, and climate solutions on the Nexus page. Regeneration’s team of researchers are still building out the list of how-tos and continue to add more information regularly to the site. So, keep going back to explore new ways you can act on climate.
They also link to several helpful tools; a carbon calculator, a form for completing a climate action punch list, as well as a downloadable learning pod, Planet by Climate Action Systems, where you can connect with others wanting to keep the earth at a livable temperature.
If you feel overwhelmed by all the information and resources, I suggest starting with the six basic frameworks under which all the actions fall. They are:
1. Infuse Equity: We need to infuse all our climate actions with an equity lens. We must give our social systems the same “level of care, attention, and kindness as ecosystems. They are incomparable yet inseparable.”
2. Reduce Green House Gas emissions. Stop putting them into the atmosphere by ending emissions from agriculture, transportation, food, deforestation, desertification, and ecosystem destruction. The site mentions that “reduce solutions include electric vehicles, micro-mobility, carbon-positive buildings, walkable cities, carbon architecture, electrified buildings and minimized food waste.”
3. Protect Land and Natural Carbon. We need to protect forestlands, peatlands, wetlands, grasslands, mangroves, tidal salt marshes, farmland, and rangeland.
4. Sequester Carbon in Nature. We can take carbon out of the atmosphere through regenerative agriculture, managed grazing, proforestation, afforestation, degraded land, mangrove, and wetland restoration, and by protecting existing ecosystems.
5. Influence Laws and Manufacturing. To affect large-scale change, we need to influence laws, regulations, subsidies, policies, and building codes to align with a low carbon world. While we can stop using plastic bags at home, we have more impact when we get them banned in our community. When we join our voice with others, we can affect what happens around us. You can write letters, emails, sign petitions to corporations and trade associations, speak with local and state representatives, and/or join boycotts and protests.
6. Support Effective Climate and Social Justice Organizations. Many organizations have been working on this issue for years. Find one or more that you have an affinity with and support them financially or by volunteering. The Nexus site has links under each solution to organizations working in that arena.
Start today by picking one of these six areas and then create a list of actions that you will take the rest of this year.
Check back on the Regeneration site periodically to see what new resources are available. Paul Hawken and team are planning more initiatives, like a streaming video series, curriculum, podcasts, teaching videos, and climate action software.
In the meantime, since the Regeneration website is still a work in progress, you can also look at my website to find inspiration for your climate action. For nature-based solution ideas, look at this post or at this one if you want many ideas on how you can double down on your climate action in 2021.
I will leave you with this quote from the Regeneration homepage: “Our concern is simple: most people in the world remain disengaged, and we need a way forward that engages the majority of humanity. Regeneration is an inclusive and effective strategy compared to combating, fighting, or mitigating climate change. Regeneration creates, builds, and heals. Regeneration is what life has always done, we are life, and that is our focus. It includes how we live and what we do — everywhere. We have a common interest, and that interest can only be served when we come together.”
I wish you all the best in your climate action. Thanks for all you do.