More than 450 scientists, civil servants, journalists and climate experts took part in the ninth annual Carbon Brief quiz on Wednesday 8 November 2023.

Carbon Brief hosted more than 200 guests in London, with hundreds more playing online. 

This is the second year in a row the quiz has been hosted in London. In 2021, the event was held in Glasgow during COP26, while in 2020, the quiz was held entirely online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In total, 53 teams participated this year – 22 teams in person and 31 teams joining via Zoom.

Teams competing reflected a wide range of climate change and energy professionals. The list included journalists, civil servants, climate campaigners, policy advisers, energy experts and scientists.

Organisations represented included: UK Parliament; Met Office; Committee on Climate Change; WWF-UK; UCL; E3G; Imperial College’s Grantham Institute; University of East Anglia; HM Treasury; Wellcome Trust; BusinessGreen; Department for Transport; Danish Meteorological Institute; Ember; Climate Analytics; Bloomberg; DeSmog; University of Surrey; Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment; and the Sunrise Project.

Before the quiz, Carbon Brief’s editor and director Leo Hickman paid tribute to friends of Carbon Brief, veteran climate negotiator Prof Pete Betts CBE, climate scientist Prof Saleemul Huq OBE and former Guardian environment editor John Vidal, who sadly passed away this year. 

Prof Pete Betts with the winning BEIS ICE team at the 2018 Carbon Brief quiz
Prof Pete Betts with the winning BEIS ICE team at the 2018 Carbon Brief quiz

Teams were tested with five rounds of questions – general knowledge, policy, science and two picture rounds. (See a slideshow of the questions and answers below).

After two hours of competitive quizzing, this year’s winners were announced. “The Climate Justice League”, which was made up of policy experts and journalists from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down to Earth in India, won the coveted Carbon Brief trophy for the second year running, dropping only four points out of a total 100 available. The team accepted the trophy over Zoom at 2am local time in New Delhi. 

The 2020 and 2021 champions, the University of East Anglia (UEA), placed second, with 64 points. 

Tied in third place with 60 out of a total 100 available points were “Call me Mabey” from E3G and “Who You Gonna Call? Coalbusters?” from Ember.

See the full leaderboard here.

All the questions and answers can be found in this PDF document. (Carbon Brief also tweeted throughout the event using the #CBQuiz hashtag.)

In an always-tricky quiz, one of the least correctly answered questions in the general knowledge round was: where in England was the 2023 hit movie Barbie mostly filmed? Just four teams gave the correct answer of “Leavesden”. And in the science round, just 10 teams knew – or guessed correctly – that the occupation of George Hadley, the amateur meteorologist after whom the Hadley Cell is named, was “lawyer”.

Carbon Brief would like to thank all the teams who took part and we look forward to hosting the quiz again in the autumn of 2024. If you would like to participate in next year’s quiz, please contact us in advance.

Picture gallery by Carbon Brief

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