Credit: Pixabay

On the climate activist’s New Year’s resolution list: multisolving

UK based free-lance journalist Ella Glover asked climate activists for the best strategies to help tackle climate change in 2022. Multisolving made the list!

Credit: Pixabay

From getting educated about climate change to moving your money to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, the activists had lost of great suggestions.

Eating more sustainably was one of the ten ideas. It came along with a side of multisolving thanks to climate activist and researcher, Bridget McKenzie, who suggested, “reducing meat portions, opting instead for meat-free and plant-based meal options.”

McKenzie goes on to say, ‘Eating more plants is a multi-solving way to reduce food waste and save money – vegans spend up to 40% less than meat-eaters – while helping to protect biodiversity and reduce carbon emission.’

‘Meat accounts for 60% of the greenhouse gases from the food system, so it makes sense to replace it with plant alternatives, as long as you take care not to pack your diet with ultra-processed vegan products. 

‘If you take a little time to explore flavour and variety, you can have a really enjoyable, affordable diet with maximum nutrition while knowing that you’re doing less harm to the planet.’ 

We noticed that some of the other suggestions on the list were multisolving too…take a look and see how many you can spot.

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That opened a new front of research at Climate Interactive: what else would improve around the world if countries truly transitioned away from fossil fuels? From improvements in air quality to energy security we documented many co-benefits of climate action, and incorporated some of them into Climate Interactive’s well known computer simulation, En-ROADS.

But, the multiple benefits of actions to protect the climate remain mostly theoretical without ways of overcoming the obstacles to multisolving. That’s why, from the beginning of our work we have collaborated with others to understand the bright spots of multisolving around the world and to pilot multisolving approaches. First in Milwaukee in partnership with the Milwuakee Metropolitan Sewerage District and then in Atlanta, with Partnership for Southern Equity, we began to see what was possible by bringing the different parts of a system together in pursuit of actions and investments that lifted up many goals at once.

From this action research, along with a series of case studies of multisolving projects, we began to see attitudes and approaches that are in common across a wide diversity of multisolving projects, a topic we wrote about in Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Then came 2020. Pandemic. Escalating climate change impacts. Dire warnings about biodiversity loss. And more and more folks connecting the dots between each of these issues and structural inequity. Invitations to write, speak, and teach about multisolving came fast and furious and with it the possibility that what we’ve learned from multisolving bright spots could help support leaders around the world to respond to crises with multisolving. That spark led to the launch of the Multisolving Institute and our mission of supporting leaders as they pursue multisolving approaches