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Drawdown Georgia

Alan Flurry

Inspired by Project Drawdown, Georgia is building a movement to accelerate progress towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions. It’s called Drawdown Georgia, and it launched October 17 statewide.

Over 18 months, a team of the state’s best researchers and scientists from UGA, Georgia Tech and Emory University took a deep dive into the data to determine what it’s possible to achieve within the Drawdown framework, leveraging our state’s abundant economic, social and natural resources. The team set a fast-approaching deadline of 2030 to ensure a path to net zero by 2040. With a goal to cut Georgia’s carbon impact significantly, the efforts are designed to put the state on the road to a low carbon economy. 

Drawdown Georgia’s mission is built on the state’s capacity for progress against emissions reductions in five high impact areas:

  • Electricity
  • Buildings & Materials
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Land Sinks
  • Transportation

Within these high impact areas, the team have identified 20 specific solutions — from building on solar and EV capacity, to growing Georgia's ability to sequester carbon in its forests and coastal wetlands, to transitioning to regenerative agriculture and plant friendly diets and building cleaner and greener. 

Efforts at the University of Georgia are led by Principal Investigator Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences, who is also leading the interface to the overall project Core team in the state. Faculty are leading on 2 of the 6 project Working Groups, in the following sections:

1. Cross-Cutting Activities

2. Land Use and Forestry

3. Food

4. Overall Deliverables

Professor Puneet Dwivedi in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and Professor Jacqueline Mohan of the Odum School of Ecology lead UGA efforts in Land Use and Forestry. Professor Sudhagar Mani of the College of Engineering leads UGA work using drawdown solutions from Food sector.

"UGA expertise in forestry, food systems, and agriculture is essential to any assessment of carbon," said Shepherd, who will also play a key role in the broader outreach and communication aspects of Drawdown Georgia. "When coupled with our expertise within the Franklin College in climatology and geographic information systems, it was a natural partnership with our colleagues across the state."

Among the key rollout events this week is a research webinar on Oct. 21:

Phase I Master Research Presentation, October 21 from 2-3:30. Hear from experts from Emory University, Georgia Tech and University of Georgia — for “The Science Behind Drawdown Georgia: Reducing Georgia’s carbon footprint in beneficial and equitable ways”

Bringing climate solutions to Georgia, Drawdown Georgia is addressing the social, economic, environmental and health impacts of scaling these solutions by accounting for the impacts Beyond Carbon.


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