CLP at the British Energy Challenge
11th October 2013

by Carbon Literacy Project-Worker Ayma Kazmi

The British Energy Challenge, organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change & Carbon Trust, held in the Town Hall Manchester on 6th September 2013 was a very well attended exhibition focusing on the country’s energy problems, the challenges they create and the solutions to those challenges, both at an individual and organisational scale.

There were a wide range of exhibitors divided into three main zones:


  • The Challenge Zone – consisted of displays from the National Grid, Siemens, Sheffield Solar and more, demonstrating the current energy challenges and how the nation and industries are planning to tackle them.
  • The Economic Opportunity Zone – This section of the exhibition was filled with promising opportunities for investment in renewable technologies and for jobs and careers in the sector.
  • Energy and You Zone (Consumer Help) – Focused on individuals and the local community, with organisations like Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Carbon Co-op giving energy efficiency tips and advise to help visitors decrease their personal and domestic carbon footprint and reduce their energy bills.
Kevin A and game

Kevin Anderson ponders his options

Being in the Energy and You Zone, the Carbon Literacy Project (CLP) aimed to make people more aware of how their actions impact on their own Carbon Dioxide emissions.

We ran two interactive games; The Balloon Game and Go For Green Game, to attempt to demonstrate Carbon Literate thinking in an interactive and simple way.

The main hall of the Town Hall is almost 20m high so we used this fact and a set of helium balloons on very long pieces of string to demonstrate to people that few of us have an instinctive feel for the carbon impacts of everyday activities.  

The Go For Green floor-based game has been developed by St Peters High School and environmental education consultant James Ridgway – it uses a ‘Monopoly’ format to enable players to save the world from catastrophic climate change.  Our two celebrated starting players were Sir David MacKay, Chief Scientific Advisor to
the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and climate change guru Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre who, fortunately for two world experts on climate change, both did very well! (There’s an on line version of the game here).

Both games received a lot of attention and we received plenty of plaudits for being different and effective in getting such an important message across…