The Climate Game: Can you reach net zero by 2050?

The Financial Times’ Climate Game puts you in control of the future of the planet. It asks players to save the world from the worst effects of climate change through an innovative, gamified format. The game is available to everyone - subscribers and non-subscribers.

Ultimately players have to cut emissions, but they must also make trade-offs and balance the big decisions necessary to reach net zero by 2050. Players will experience the impacts of different decisions as they progress through multiple choice questions - watching the impact of each on global emissions.

The game focuses on electricity, transport, buildings and industry - the four sectors responsible for the biggest energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Players must also deal with other greenhouse gases, and protect people and nature, for the planet to remain habitable. When each player reaches the year 2050 they will receive a bespoke temperature projection for the year 2100 - an accurate reflection of the decisions they have made.

The FT worked closely with the International Energy Agency and used published scientific research to ensure the game responded as accurately as possible to the decisions each player makes. Read more about how it was modelled and created here.

Sam Joiner, visual stories editor at the FT, said: “Putting the player in control of the future of our planet helps them understand the effort required to keep global warming to below 1.5C. The Climate Game helps simplify a critical topic, and we hope it appeals to younger and non-specialist audiences through utilising a fun, visual format.”

The FT is a trusted source of information on climate change and has continued to increase the reach of, and access to, climate content. Last year the paper dropped its paywall to ensure that quality COP26 coverage was free to read during the summit.

How the Climate Game works

After another summer of extreme weather global leaders have decided there is only one hope left - appoint a Global Minister for Future Generations to make the decisions squabbling nations have failed to for decades. After much deliberation, they have appointed you. For each question you need to decide the best course of action to reach net zero by 2050. As well as cutting emissions, questions will highlight how factors like cooperation, innovation, financial system reform and human equality are core levers of emissions reduction. To measure progress, an “emissions gauge” will show your progress towards net zero after each round of questions. 

At the end of the game, players will see their total emissions cuts, how close they are to net zero and what changes to the planet have taken place under their reign. Crucially, they will see the projected temperature on Earth in 2100.

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