The 2nd Annual UN “Green Game Jam,” & the UN’s “Glowing, Glowing, Gone” & “Play4forests” Projects. Visiting Earth School, the Public School Green Rooftop Program Act

by | Jun 16, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

It’s the Second Annual UN “Green Game Jam,” plus the UN’s Glowing, Glowing, Gone & Play4forests projects. Let’s All Go to Earth School! And, the Public School Green Rooftop Program Proposed Law.



I was super excited to bring this story to the climate daily because you know how much I love playing video games.


Sure. You’ve caught me several times playing video games on the company computer.

Dude. Solitaire is not a video game.

You cut me Shrek, you cut me deep.

All I’m saying is Today, June 16th is the launch of the second-annual UN Environment Program’s Green Game Jam.

The UN’s Environment Program (UNEP) recognized that the gaming industry reaches 1 in 3 people on the planet and has a platform with unprecedented influence. So it asked itself, “How can this rapidly expanding media platform be can be used inspire young people to learn and act in support of the environment?”

The UNEP approached GRID-Arendal and Playmob, and thus was born the Playing for the Planet Alliance. Created in September 2019, the Alliance held its first Green Game Jam in 2020.

June 16th marks the launch of the second annual Green Game Jam. This year, more than 23 other studios from around the world joined in, including teams from Ubisoft, Mojang Studios, Niantic, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Ustwo Games. They are all collaborating and committing to implementing green activations in and out-of-game such as new modes, maps, themed events, storylines and messaging. Studios have been working on this since earlier this year.

Guiding the studios is a theme centered around conserving and restoring forests and oceans, including:

  • PAC-MAN™ for Mobile’s Adventure Mode will focus on the theme of reforestation, and
  • Ustwo Games will create new level content in Monument Valley 2, which will connect players to the life of trees and be partially unlocked through their support of forest conservation initiatives.

Participating studios submitted entries which will be revealed publicly starting today and the gamers have about a week to vote on them. The activations will be judged across five categories including a “Player’s Choice” award for the first time this year.

2021 Green Game Jam winners will be announced on June 25th.




Game Jam is but one part of The Playing For The Planet Alliance.  Another part of it is pledge campaigns/petitions Alliance members make/sign in terms of commitments, to support the global environmental agenda through initiatives ranging from planting millions of trees to reducing plastic in their products.

This year, there are two pledge campaigns: Play4Forests is focused on conserving and restoring forests in areas such as the Amazon, the Congo Basin and South East Asia, while Glowing, Glowing Gone is a campaign concentrating on the protection of coral reefs.

Why Glowing, Glowing, Gone for reef preservation? According to research by the University of Southampton’s Coral Reef Laboratory, some corals exhibit a dazzlingly colorful display when they suffer bleaching due to warmer temperatures—to protect themselves. The study suggests that corals develop extreme coloration within 2 to 3 weeks after exposure to mild or temporary heat stress.

Bleached corals glow in luminescent colors—blue, yellow and purple—just before they “bleach” fully. Bleaching leads to coral death. AS we’ve reported, Coral reefs are home to a quarter of all marine life.

International names like soccer player Yaya Toure, musician Rocky Dawuni, Hamish Duad and Jane Goodall are leveraging their reputations to call on their social networks

to engage with these campaigns. The resulting petitions will be presented to world leaders at future UN Summits including COP26, the UN’s Climate Summit, later this year. 

DEEPER DIVE: The Conversation, Glowing Neon Corals Fight Back, UNEP,, Play4Forests



When I was a kid, I spent hours outside. My first real purchase was a bag of little plastic animals–an animal menagerie–that I’d take outside and dump onto the ground between the massive roots of a grand old oak tree in front of our house. I mixed creatures from different continents all together in an environment ignorant of how generally unsuitable it was for most of them . Ah well, That was my Earth School.

Thankfully, kids today have a better version, and online too. It’s called Earth School and was co-created by UN Environment Program and Ted-Ed to provide kids, parents and teachers all over the world with engaging nature-focused content to stay connected to nature during the global covid-19 pandemic. 

Earth School offers on 30 quests that will help students understand and celebrate our natural world, while learning about how dependent we are on our planet. The lessons can be parsed out over six weeks, or binge-taught/binge-learned if that’s more your style. Week One, for example is “The Nature of Our Stuff,” and it goes a little something like this:

“You’re likely wearing a shirt made from seeds, using a device made from rocks and the last meal you ate? It was probably made by bees. This week, we’ll learn how all the stuff we need and use comes from the Earth. We’ll also explore some small changes we can make that have huge, positive impacts on our planet.”

There are five lessons per week, and each week has a distinct topic. Each topic builds upon the last.

Why this matters to us?  Young people are stuck inside, more disconnected from nature than ever before. Earth School encourages young people to understand how nature and our ecosystems provide the foundations for a healthy planet, and healthy people.




NY Democratic Representative. Nydia Velazquez recently introduced H.R. 1863, the “Public School Green Rooftop Program Act.”

If passed, this bill would direct the Department of Energy to create a $500 million, four-year grant program for public elementary and secondary schools to install green roof systems; would grant additional maintenance funding for up to four years; and provide funding for technical assistance including an engineering analysis, cost estimate and assessment of a school’s roof characteristics.

A recent study by the Green Roof Foundation determined this bill would generate 29,000 new jobs.

Here are the top three reasons why building green roofs on public schools matters to us:

-Green roofs on educational facilities can provide an easily accessible site to teach students and visitors about biology, and other STEM areas, art, sustainability and green roof technology.

-The EPA and the National Park Service recognize the installation of green roofs throughout a city can help reduce surface urban heat islands, cool the air, improve the energy performance of buildings, help manage stormwater and reduce emissions.

-The General Services Administration recognizes a typical green roof lasts more than 40 years before requiring replacement, whereas the life of an unvegetated conventional roof could be 10 to 15 years.

Congresswoman Velázquez noted, “These roofs allow students to directly engage with sustainable practices and see for themselves the impact that environmentally conscious initiatives can have on their hometowns and neighborhoods. By exposing them to these ideas early on in their education, we forge a path to a cleaner, healthier community”. 

Yeah we already know introducing practices to kids works; we just need to change what the practices are.

DEEPER DIVE: GovTrack, 117th Congress H.R. 1863,, Living Architecture