In order to keep the planet from reaching a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Centigrade, all nations of the world need to take drastic and immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The scientific and policy communities have talked about this for over a decade, but much work remains. The Illinois Green Alliance has identified carbon reduction as an epic challenge that Chicago needs to pursue, and the City of Chicago signed the Chicago Climate Charter this past December committing the city to meeting the Paris Climate Accord targets for permanent reductions. Paul Hawken’s book Drawdown identifies the strategies that everyone can implement; and putting these strategies into practice in an impactful way needs to happen before reaching the tipping point.
Objective. The Illinois Green Alliance works to implement carbon drawdown strategies in every neighborhood of the city of Chicago, however with limited resources, understanding which strategies represent the greatest opportunity poses a significant challenge. The IPRO team will review the list of potential carbon drawdown strategies, the carbon footprint of the city, and identify an optimal strategy implementation plan.
Approach. Students will perform stakeholder interviews of Illinois Green Alliance members, review and codify a greenhouse gas inventory for the city, use brainstorming and shoebox modeling techniques to identify potential impact, engage community members in discussions, and then document a resource-optimal roadmap.