Powers of 10: cross-scale optimization of social agencies for rapid climate and sustainability action

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Avit K. Bhowmik, Mark Stanislaus McCaffrey, Abigail M Ruskey, Chad Frischmann, Owen Gaffney


Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and related sustainability initiatives will require halving of greenhouse gas emissions each decade from now on through to 2050, when net zero emissions should be achieved. To reach such significant reductions requires a rapid and strategic scaling of existing and emerging technologies and practices, coupled with economic and social transformation and novel governance solutions. A new “Powers of 10” (P10) logarithmic optimization framework offers a social perspective and practical tool for climate action by complementing technology, business, finance and policy paradigms and existing governance frameworks. P10 identifies optimal population cohorts for climate action between a single individual and the globally projected ~10 billion persons by 2050. Applying a robust dataset of climate solutions from Project Drawdown’s Plausible scenario, we find prioritizing community to urban-focused climate action can help maximize top-down and bottom-up efforts, and support policies and practices for rapid sustainability transformation.




Education, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geography, International and Area Studies, Library and Information Science, Life Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sustainability


global warming, climate change, sustainable development goals, Climate Action Strategies, Climate Mitigation, Paris Agreement, Powers of 10, Project Drawdown, Scale, Social Transformation, Sustanability, Sweet Spot


Published: 2018-08-27 11:24

Last Updated: 2020-01-27 06:08

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