CARBON CITY ZERO: A new climate action board game

A new board game has been launched that invites its players to balance carbon reduction with other important factors that might even threaten to challenge their green convictions.

In Carbon City Zero each player is a newly-appointed city mayor tasked with making their city carbon neutral.  Needless to say, this is not so easy as it might seem as they also have to generate income, build factories, manage people, lobby government ministers and raise public awareness whilst at the same time running their city!  The first mayor to create a carbon neutral city wins.

Each player starts with an identical deck and identical carbon footprint, buying additional cards from a shared marketplace to create a more sustainable city. But they have to collaborate and negotiate, working together with the mayors of other cities in Britain and around the world to take positive climate action. They can follow many different paths to net zero but, however they do it, collaboration is the key, as it is in real life. And, also as in real life, if this can’t be done in time, everyone loses.  

Game testers trial a prototype of Carbon City Zero

Developed by the climate action group, ‘Possible’ (, with the collaboration of games experts at Manchester Metropolitan University and funded by the UK Energy Research Centre, Carbon City Zero was trialled by students at Manchester Metropolitan University.

“We wanted to create something that would enable people to engage in dialogue around the subject in a fun, but also meaningful way.

“The topic seemed quite daunting at first, but after listening to several different audiences and stakeholders it was clear that there was definitely an enjoyable gaming experience to be found.”

Carbon City Zero is marketed by Laurence King Publishing ( at a cost of £24.99.  It comes in eco-conscious packaging, is printed on Forest Stewardship Council stocks and is made to last.  A percentage of the profit goes back to Possible to enable them to continue their search for real-life climate solutions.  It is suitable for up to four players over the age of 8, raises every player’s climate awareness and is guaranteed to get them all thinking – and talking about the climate.  

To quote Possible:  “The stakes couldn’t be higher”  But this is surely the perfect green Christmas present for adults and children alike.


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