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Decarbonise! A Playful Pathfinding Approach to a Sustainable Future
Decarbonise! is a decision-making simulation game on how to tackle the climate and energy crisis in a social just manner. Teams compete to achieve carbon neutrality by choosing different policy choices and inputs while considering social, economic, and land use consequences as well.


By: Veronika Kiss (EcosystemEvaluation) and Klára Hajdu

Session type: Single session, Undergraduate/Graduate level, Small/Medium size


  • Policy / Governance

  • Climate change

  • Inequalities / social justice

  • Multi-stakeholder interactions

  • Games

  • Experience-based learning


Introduction to the teaching example:

The objectives of this activity are to raise public awareness of the climate and energy crisis and the associated social and economic challenges as well as to enhance carbon neutrality policy tools and demonstrate their effects on society and the economy by boosting multi-stakeholder collaboration and by stimulating cooperative ideas on how to address the climate and energy crisis in a socially just manner.


The Decarbonise! game's mission is to explore how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 while taking social, economic, and environmental aspects into account. Teams portray fictional nations that compete against one another. They can select one of three policy options—the Energy Budget Scheme, the Carbon Tax, or the Green Economy Toolbox—and decide on a variety of factors for each decade between 2020 and 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions, energy poverty level, household savings, unemployment rate, and land use pressure are five factors that students must consider as they navigate the game in order to be successful. 


Throughout unanticipated occurrences like a recession, severe weather circumstances, or the arrival of climate refugees may have an impact on decision-making. The team that performs the best across all five success metrics wins the game, but the real goal is to elicit discussion, foster comprehensive thinking, and increase the public realization of various policy options for addressing the global environmental crisis.

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