Politicians and commentators have their own pet theories and are probably too busy to do further homework.
Drawdown is a book edited by Paul Hawken (Penguin) in the USA that sets out 100 policies, each written by a specialist scientist, giving the gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent that would be reduced. 80 of them are based on existing policies and technologies; for example Iran has halved its fertility rate and that of Bangladesh is less than replacement.
Below is a list of the top 20 and it is surprising that only 5 relate to energy production whereas 12 are based on food and land management. Top of the list is ‘refrigerant management’ covering the release of coolants*.
From Drawdown – Top 20 polices for carbon dioxide (or equivalent) reduction
|Rank||policy||CO2e reductions in gigatons||more info on page|
|2||Wind turbines onshore||84.6||2|
|3||Reduced food waste||70.5||42|
|4||Plant rich diet||66.1||38|
|6||Educating girls||59.6||) affects population numbers||80|
|7||Family planning||59.6||) & together = 119 GT of CO2e reduction||78|
|9||Silvopasture||31.2||reduces soil degradation||50|
|11||Regenerative agriculture||23.2||reduces soil degradation||54|
|13||Peatlands||21.6||1,230 GT of CO2e protected||122|
|14||Tropical staple trees||20.2||66|
|16||Conservation agriculture||17.4||reduces soil degradation||60|
|17||Tree intercropping||17.2||reduces soil degradation||58|
|19||Managed grazing||16.3||reduces soil degradation||72|
|20||Nuclear||16.1||functional & military dangers, high cost||18|
*The Montreal Protocol (1987) and Kigali Amendment (2016) prevent further production of ozone-depleting refrigerants. Huge volumes remain within equipment and do 90% of their damage to the atmosphere – thousands of times worse than CO2 – on release. EU (&UK) regulations impose hefty fines for incorrect disposals of cooling equipment.