Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:
This proposal was moved here from Public Attitudes and Behaviors Workspace 2016


Interactive public climate change installation fusing plants & technology to deliver grassroots engagement with low carbon future in cities



Located across four interconnected geodesic domes, The Carbon Path consists of four garden "worlds" displaying the impact of a temperature rise of 1, 2, 3 and 4o Celsius.

Visitors are transported through a visual, sensory and intellectual experience by fusing the power of plants with the latest digital and renewable energy technology. The Carbon Path invites each visitor to take small steps in their own personal carbon lives to help limit rising temperatures.

One of the main areas for rapid transformation to a low carbon future is in cities which account for 70% of global carbon emissions. Many cities are threatened with serious flooding if global temperatures rise above 2o C.

Interacting with nature is crucial as cities have become distanced from the environment. They have lost the ability to understand how city lives are linked to the bigger cycle of nature. Connecting city dwellers with how the natural world and our climate impacts cities is crucial for communicating with an audience who are disengaged with traditional climate change stories of polar bears and stranded islands in the Pacific.

The Carbon Path uses plants and the latest renewable energy technology to communicate climate positivity for a low carbon future.Plants respond to daily and local weather patterns which are a reflection of the much bigger climate picture. Every day the plants in our cities bear witness to the climate changing outside
our own back doors. They help city dwellers to see the shift in extreme weather scenarios approaching every day in our own lives rather than in a remote Arctic location or deserted island.

Plants survive these changes by harnessing the natural elements of sun, wind and water on a daily basis. It is these natural resources that can enable the adaptation to a low carbon world using the renewable energies of solar, wind and water power.

Planting a garden is a commitment to the future. Gardens deliver hope and positivity for families and future generations to enjoy. .


Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

As argued in a Royal Society of Arts (RSA) report the major cause and consequence of climate change inertia is that even those who broadly accept the facts of climate change struggle to see themselves either as part of the problem or the solution. 

"Framing" is a buzzword in debates about climate change, and will not by itself keep fossil fuels in the ground.

We need a way of presenting climate change to show that it is not merely one of many environmental problems, but a completely unique collective and local action problem, and, one that is implicated in EVERY aspect of our daily city lives.

The Carbon Path will fuel increased awareness and interaction with climate change and low carbon issues such as renewable energy & EVS by bringing the impact of climate change to people living in cities using the unique combination of plants and low carbon technologies.

Physical actions will include visitors walking on The Carbon Path through each of the 1,2,3& 4c biomes and accessing a range of low carbon solutions through augmented reality and experiencing for themselves the latest solar, wind and genetic renewable energy technologies.

TCP brings the experience of a future scenario of 1,2,3,& 4c warming to city dwellers and translates this into action on reducing individual and collective carob footprints.

By shifting individual and community experiences of climate change in cities we aim to influence local governments and policy makers to speed the transition to low carbon society.

Details of all actions cannot be shared in the public domain as these remain copyrighted and 100% confidential at this stage of development. If selected we will be able to provide further information directly to the judges but are not willing to post this information for all to read.

Who will take these actions?

The main actors involved are individuals, families, communities, living in major global cities with the initial target being the citizens of Paris.

By locating the first Carbon Path in Paris we are currently attracting a major global leader in the form of the French Government who are looking for a way to take control and win the battle on climate change following the Paris Agreement in December 2015.

With the arrival of President Macron and the ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ campaign in 2017, the attention remains on Paris as the centre of global advancement on climate change.

The Carbon Path in Paris can help President Macron to achieve his climate change goals.This innovative public engagement project will expand the international reputation of France as THE leader in the global battle against climate change. 

TCP will allow President Macron to show the world that The Paris Agreement remains irreversible and will be implemented not just by France but by all other nations who have ratified since its inception in December 2015. TCP will showcase the increased action and commitment of the french government to attract global innovators who can work together on innovative, low carbon solutions for climate change.

The other crucial actors include business & corporate sponsors who will deliver the funds to make this project a reality.

Our belief is that ultimately, the battle against climate change will be won by a global collaboration between cities, businesses and citizens, all determined to secure a sustainable world for future generations.


Where will these actions be taken?

 The Carbon Path will launch in Paris in 2019 to fuel global support for The Paris Agreement which has crucial deadlines to meet by 2020. Most experts agree that 2020 is a make or break point for taking action and carbon emissions need to be on a downward slope by 2020 if we are to meet the potential target of 2c global warming.

The French government under President Macron is already focused on a low carbon future with vital actions being taken by Nicolas  Hulot, French Environmental Minister such as ending sales of petrol & diesel vehicles by 2040. This is supported by Anne Hildago, Mayor of Paris who has already put in place Car Free Days in the centre of this busy city.

The Carbon Path will reboot the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement by highlighting the incredible renewable energy technology and advances in electric vehicles that can make this goal achievable. It will serve as a local magnet for the 2.5 million Parisiens who are already experiencing the reality of a low carbon city through the visions of its Mayor. 

More importantly, it will mark the journey of The Carbon Path around the globe to power low carbon action in other major cities including London in 2020, Abu Dhabi in 2021, Australia in 2022 and NYC in 2023.


In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.


Country 2

United Kingdom

Country 3

United Arab Emirates

Country 4


Country 5

United States


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

Adaptation is where TCP will focus its impact when it is launched in Paris during 2019. Creating new ways for cities to adapt to climate change is the focus of the global change organisation called C40 headed by Mayor Anne Hildago in Paris.

We plan to collaborate with their Impact Assessment Team to identify the exact impact that TCP can have on the greenhouse gas emissions of 2.2 million people currently living in Paris.


What are other key benefits?

The Carbon Path aims to regenerate global interest and determination to meet the goals of The Paris Agreement to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2c.

The carbon emmissions goals agreed in Paris in December 2015 by 196 countries and subsequently ratified by 160 are in desperate need of being ramped up and brought into the public domain if this ambitious goal is to be achieved.

The Carbon Path brings climate change into the local city environment identifying the reality of a 2c, 3c & 4c scenario for each host city by using the power of plants and the latest interactive technologies. 

We will work with each host city to ensure that their local key low carbon messages are included for each dome which will be tailor-made for each location.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

Current estimates are that The Carbon Path will require an investment of £500,000 to deliver the first experience in Paris for 2019. We are already in discussion with offices of the French Government in London and due to present our proposals to them in Paris during October 2017 to secure their commitment to a central venue which will help secure sponsorship and investment in this climate change communications project.

The cost for transporting TCP using the lowest carbon foot print possible to the other host cities of London, Abu Dhabi, Sydney & NYC are currently being explored using solar power boats which will fuel the global low carbon media story that this project will promote over the next 5 to 10 years. 

The biggest challenge is to limit the carbon footprint of TCP as obviously it cannot be seen to negate the messages it aims to communicate. To this end we aim to use solar & wind energy to power the 4 Domes and ensure that all components are sustainably sourced from local suppliers in each city.

We already have interest from corporate sponsors keen to associate their brand with a global environmental communication project. The biggest challenge will be securing this funding without compromising the messages about a low carbon future. To this end we are looking to partner with renewable energy and EV manufacturers/suppliers.


The immediate impact of The Carbon Path will be to reboot commitments to The Paris Agreement and provide a communications tool that will build interest and commitment to achieving its goals in the face of such negativity from the current US government.

This means that from 1 to 15 years,TCP must fulfil a global communications need to make climate change part of our daily lives and not just extreme weather scenarios happening elsewhere. That is why TCP needs to begin its journey in Paris and then London where both countries are relatively safe  - at the moment - from the effects of extreme weather.

From 15 to 50 years TCP will evolve into an international organisation committed to delivering climate change education and interaction using plants and technologies both on and off line to a vast global audience.

Beyond 50 years, who knows what TCP will be required to deliver By then we will have a realistic understanding of whether the 2c target for limiting global warming has been achieved.If not, the understanding of why C02 has to be eliminated from our civilisation will hopefully be much clearer and TCP will be an integral part of every day thinking and reality.

About the author(s)

Project Creator: Deborah Scott Anderson

Deborah has an extensive professional background in communications and excels at collaborating with international corporate clients to deliver targeted events and publicity campaigns. 

She founded Climate Gardens in 2013 to combine professional communications experience and interest in environmental CSR with a passion for plants.Climate Gardens creates interactive garden experiences that promote understanding of climate change whilst stimulating interest in renewable energies and green technology.

In 2016 Deborah conceived Near Future Garden which received a Gold Medal at RHS Hampton Court in London. Over 6 days 10,000 visitors engaged with a low carbon future using renewable energies. 

Designer: Tom Massey

Tom has won multiple awards including an RHS Gold Medal and the highly sought after ‘Best Conceptual Garden’ award for the UNHCR ‘Border Control’ Garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in 2016.

Hailed as an ‘exciting young designer’ and ‘one to watch’, Tom completed a Diploma in Garden Design at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.  

Climate Change & Sustainability Consultant: David Saddington

David is a leading climate change communicator who pioneered a a climate change media campaign that reached over 3 million people and in 2017 won the Earth Hour Hero Award from WWF-UK.

A well established voice on effective climate change communication, David speaks to a range of global audiences from the United Nations to MTV. During 2016, he presented to audiences in 5 countries as well as writing blogs for The Huffington Post.

Climate Scientist: Eleanor Webster

Eleanor has a PhD in Environmental Science from Queen Mary University in London.

Eleanor works as a Climate Scientist at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and is researching the role of gardens in climate change mitigation and adaption. She is the co-author of the RHS scientific report published in April 2017 entitled "Gardening in a Changing Climate".

Related Proposals