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The Issue:

People across the United States are already suffering from the impacts of the climate crisis. These harms—including physical and mental health impacts, housing and income loss from hazards such as extreme heat, repeated flooding and sea level rise, wildfire, and drought—are falling heavily on communities of color and low-income communities. Scientific reports show that we have a very narrow window of time to act: To avoid the most dangerous repercussions we must limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. The good news? The solutions to build a more just and equitable future for all already exist — we just need to demand that they be implemented.


The Game Design Prompt:

We need a comprehensive plan that addresses the impacts of the climate crisis by strengthening our communities’ resilience to climate extremes and reducing carbon emissions. Solutions like adaptation, green infrastructure, public transportation, energy efficiency and clean energy are all promising and within reach. Create a game that shows how we can improve our homes, schools, and communities to be more sustainable and improve people’s health.


2020 tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record, with 2019 coming in second in fact, 19 of the 20 warmest years ever recorded have occurred in the past two decades.

According to the World Health Organization, “climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year” between 2030 and 2050.

With cities consuming more than two-thirds of the world’s energy and accounting for more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions (primarily through the high-emitting sectors of transportation and buildings and energy), we cannot ignore the role of cities in climate solutions.

Transportation, including ships, planes, trains, and motor vehicles, contributes 29 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the country’s single-biggest source of such pollution.

Buildings are the single-largest user of energy in the United States, accounting for 50 – 75 percent of total energy consumption in a city. The good news is that there are easy fixes to make buildings more sustainable through updates to building heating, cooking, and power, and replacing gas appliances with cleaner alternatives that use electricity!



Global Warming 101

An overview of global warming, its causes, effects, and what’s being done about it.

rainbow oil slick background.

Fossil Fuels: The Dirty Facts

Mining, drilling, and burning dirty energy are harming the environment and our health. Here’s everything you need to know about fossil fuels, and why we need to embrace a clean energy future.

How You Can Help Fight Climate Change

Healing the planet starts in your garage, in your kitchen, and at your dining room table. Here are some easy, concrete ways you can make a difference.

The Energy-Efficient Home Makeover

No demolition required. A few small tweaks to each room could dramatically shrink your carbon footprint.

Young father working at home with his baby  girl
How to Keep Warm and Save on Your Energy Bills This Winter

From weather-stripping windows to using the right light bulbs, these smart and simple tips can help keep your family cozy and your energy costs low.

Heat Pump Technology

Modern electric heat pumps are a climate-proof technology that can help us control the temperature in our homes

Green Your School

Eight ways to help your district’s students and parents be better environmental citizens.

5 Ways City Dwellers Can Spur Climate

ActionBecause of their massive environmental footprints, urban areas can play a huge role in curbing climate change. Ask these five questions of local leaders to see if your city is up to snuff.

Many wind turbines and a large solar panel array in a desert valley, mountains in the distance and blue sky above. Palm Springs, California, USA
Renewable Energy: The Clean Facts

Wind and solar are powering a clean energy revolution. Here’s what you need to know about renewables and how you can help make an impact at home.

Energy Efficiency: The Clean Facts

Here’s what you need to know about energy efficiency and how you can help save the environment—and money—at the same time.

Woman replacing light bulb at home. Power save LED lamp changing
Flipping the Switch

How the Transition to Efficient All-Electric Buildings Will Help the United States Meet Its Climate Goals.

Green Infrastructure: How to Manage Water in a Sustainable Way

By relying on plants, soil, and natural systems to manage rainfall runoff, green infrastructure tackles urban water woes and boosts climate resilience.

SANTA ANA, CA - FEBRUARY 01: The Orchard feature large barrels to harvest rain water in Santa Ana on Thursday, Feb 1, 2018. The complex is a former run-down motel in Santa Ana that was converted into a permanent supportive housing complex for 71 chronically homeless people. The $18 million project is Santa Ana?ïs first permanent supportive housing project, backed by housing vouchers from the city totaling nearly $1 million annually. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
Electric Cars 101

Everything you need to know to switch to an electric car.

ACCC Primer: Electrifying Vehicles

ACCC Primer: Reducing Reliance On Vehicles

ACCC  Fact sheet Bus Lanes

To meet U.S. climate goals, we need to cut carbon emissions by half, at least, by 2030 to avert the most dangerous consequences of climate change. The resources below outline the actions the United States needs to take to get there. These key areas of impact can be applied to any city in the U.S and can be used as inspiration for game design.


The White House Fact Sheet on Climate Change and Goals for the Future

Each policy considered for reducing emissions is also an opportunity to support good jobs and improve equity:

  • The United States has set a goal to reach 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, which can be achieved through multiple cost-effective pathways each resulting in meaningful emissions reductions in this decade. That means good-paying jobs deploying carbon pollution-free electricity generating resources, transmission, and energy storage and leveraging the carbon pollution-free energy potential of power plants retrofitted with carbon capture and existing nuclear, while ensuring those facilities meet robust and rigorous standards for worker, public, environmental safety and environmental justice.
  • The United States can create good-paying jobs and cut emissions and energy costs for families by supporting efficiency upgrades and electrification in buildings through support for job-creating retrofit programs and sustainable affordable housing, wider use of heat pumps and induction stoves, and adoption of modern energy codes for new buildings. The United States will also invest in new technologies to reduce emissions associated with construction, including for high-performance electrified buildings.
  • The United States can reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector by reducing tailpipe emissions and boosting the efficiency of cars and trucks; providing funding for charging infrastructure; and spurring research, development, demonstration, and deployment efforts that drive forward very low carbon new-generation renewable fuels for applications like aviation, and other cutting-edge transportation technologies across modes. Investment in a wider array of transportation infrastructure, including transit, rail, and biking improvements, will make more choices available to travelers.
  • The United States can reduce emissions from forests and agriculture and enhance carbon sinks through a range of programs and measures including nature-based solutions for ecosystems ranging from our forests and agricultural soils to our rivers and coasts. Ocean-based solutions can also contribute towards reducing U.S. emissions.
  • The United States can address carbon pollution from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture as well as new sources of hydrogen—produced from renewable energy, nuclear energy, or waste—to power industrial facilities.  The government can use its procurement power to support early markets for these very low- and zero-carbon industrial goods.
  • The United States will also reduce non-CO2 greenhouse gases, including methane, hydrofluorocarbons and other potent short-lived climate pollutants. Reducing these pollutants delivers fast climate benefits.
  • In addition, the United States will invest in innovation to improve and broaden the set of solutions as a critical complement to deploying the affordable, reliable, and resilient clean technologies and infrastructure available today.

America must act— and not just the federal government, but cities and states, small and big business, working communities.  Together, we can seize the opportunity to drive prosperity, create jobs, and build the clean energy economy of tomorrow.

Pathways For Climate Challenge Cities To Meet Or Exceed Paris Agreement Goals

What a Green New Deal Would Look Like in Every State

The most impactful projects for all 50 states—and the planet.

Building Electrification
Building Electrification
Future of Transportation

Just the Facts: Renewables



Us Can Slash Emissions by 30% by Doing These Actions


Urban Heat Island
Benefits of Energy Efficiency


Each city has identified top areas of impact for reducing carbon emissions in their city climate action plans. Climate action plans for each of the Challenge Cities are provided below so that students can learn about the major themes their city is focusing on as part of their climate strategy and have the option to creatively integrate these actions into their games.


Credit to Can You Hear Us


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