Amanda Ravenhill: Net carbon reduction can happen within 30 years

At VERGE, many presenters spoke about reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Amanda Joy Ravenhill, executive director at Project Drawdown, wants to take it one step further: a net reduction in atmospheric carbon.

In this Studio C interview at VERGE 2014 in San Francisco, Ravenhill told GreenBiz's Joel Makower about Project Drawdown and its ambitions.

In a nutshell, Project Drawdown aims to create open-source data resources that researchers, companies, governments and teachers can use to better address the issue of climate change. Resources will include a book, an open-source database and a digital platform.

"We're not going to be the ones implementing the solutions, we're just tracking it," Ravenhill said. "We're looking at 100 solutions that already exist in the world."

She's also very optimistic about the project, and said she thinks it's possible to see results in as little as 30 years. "We could possibly achieve drawdown within the lifetime of people who are alive today," she said.

For drawdown to really work, Ravenhill said that higher prices on carbon and aggressive sequestration efforts are needed. "Sequestration and really building up that soil carbon and biomass layer is the only thing that's going to bring us back down again," she said. 

"We're not trying to over-inflate these solutions, but the one thing we are exaggerating on is how fast they can scale. What we're saying is: Over the next 30 years, what would happen if we really went at this?"