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The University of East Anglia’s “Twelve Spandrels” receiving the 2020 trophy. Credit: Carbon Brief.
The University of East Anglia’s “Twelve Spandrels” receiving the 2020 trophy. Credit: Carbon Brief.
28 October 2020 15:01

The Carbon Brief Quiz 2020

Carbon Brief Staff

28.10.2020 | 3:01pm
FeaturesThe Carbon Brief Quiz 2020

Last Thursday, Carbon Brief hosted its sixth annual quiz. The annual event usually takes place at a bar in central London, but this year was held via Zoom due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Around 60 teams, featuring more than 600 people – twice as many as in 2019 – took part in the climate and energy-themed quiz, all hoping to win the coveted trophy claimed last year by “Possibly of the Earth”, which was formed of people from Friends of the Earth, Climate Outreach and Possible.

The teams competing this year, as in previous years, were made up of a wide range of people who, in one way or other, work on climate change or energy. The list included journalists, civil servants, climate campaigners, policy advisers, energy experts and scientists.

Organisations represented included: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Met Office; Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); Financial Times; New Scientist; Committee on Climate Change; WWF-UK; Department for Transport; and at least three teams from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

After two hours of competitive quizzing, this year’s winners were announced.

Competing for the first time, a team calling themselves the “Twelve Spandrels”, who were made up of climate scientists and policy experts based at the University of East Anglia, won via a tie-breaker.

The team, captained by Prof Jan Kaiser, was tied with the team formed of Christian Aid and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), who had also lost out on last year’s tie-breaker. They jointly topped the table with 84 out of a possible 100 points. And, just a point behind them, “Friends of Friends of the Earth” took third place.

A further breakdown of the results shows quite how close it was between the top-placed teams, as well as which teams came top in individual rounds.

The tiebreaker question asked how many times the term “climate crisis” has been used in the UK’s national newspapers over the past year. The answer, according to Factiva, was 4,453 and the Twelve Spandrels got closest by saying 4,789.

Teams were tested with five rounds of questions – general knowledge, policy, science and two picture rounds.

You can read through all the questions and answers in this PDF document. (We also tweeted throughout the event using the #CBQuiz hashtag.)

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 2021 – possibly at COP26 in Glasgow, if a venue can be secured. If you would like to participate in next year’s quiz, please contact us in advance.
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