Funding source: Global Change Institute, International Energy Centre

Countries around the world have put a price on carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions trading schemes (ETS) have become the preferred option for most nations, but how do they work and is an ETS really the best policy option for climate change?

UQ researchers have developed an online, interactive simulation tool to show how emissions trading schemes work.

Carbon Game teaches the fundamentals of carbon pricing and advanced practical skills in carbon management, via group gaming.

The multi-award winning*  simulation system educates key decision-makers in industry and governments about various carbon reduction measures and the factors to consider when choosing the best option.

More than 4,000 people from 15 countries have played the Carbon Game, including China, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Chile, Cambodia and Italy.

Some of the world’s largest corporations and leading development agencies have also participated, such as the World Bank and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and Development Programme.

Carbon Game is available in English and Mandarin.

“We chose gamification to teach the complex issues around carbon pricing because the element of fun encourages high levels of engagement, motivation and knowledge retention,” said co-inventor Dr Paul Dargusch.

“Carbon Game has been very successful because it’s designed for mobile technology and it takes around three hours to play. These features are very appealing for organisations with team members working in various parts of the world.

“We plan to create an open web-based version that anyone can play, and that we can use as a rigorous research tool to test the effectiveness of different climate policy options.

“In the meantime, players gain access by contacting us via the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management,” Dr Dargusch said.

The researchers are also developing an executive training program based on the game.

Awards include:

  • 2012 Australian Commonwealth Government Business and Higher Education Round Table Awards for Best Higher Education and Training Industry Collaboration (recipient)
  • 2012 Banksia Sustainability Awards (finalist)
  • 2014 The University of Queensland Vice Chancellor's Awards for Internationalisation(recipient)
  • 2014 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Momentum for Change Awards (shortlisted)
  • 2014 The University of Queensland Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Learning  (recipient)