Vision of a Zero Carbon Future

This competition is about creating art to imagine an optimistic future, where humans are adapting to climate change that is already occurring, and have created a zero carbon society in order to prevent further climate change.

A ‘zero carbon’ future is one where no greenhouse gases that cause climate change are emitted through burning fossil fuels.

Most scientists believe it will not be possible to achieve zero emissions in all areas, so some technologies that actually capture and store greenhouse gases are proposed. These are called negative emissions technologies. Using these may enable us to get to zero emissions overall (or even negative emissions overall). For simplicity, we call our future vision a ‘zero carbon future’.

Please review the ‘Vision of a Zero Carbon Future’ information and guidance documents for more detailed information.  Additionally, please see the Terms and Conditions.

Vision of a Zero Carbon Future Information

Competition Guidance Document

If you have questions, please contact the project leader James Mckay at who will be able to answer any queries about submission or eligibility.

Deadline for submissions is Thursday 28th February 2019 at 5pm (GMT).

Who is the competition open to?

This competition is open to both adults and children and there are prizes in each category.

To be eligible for a prize, it must be clear to the competition judges that your art is based on our VISION. The competition judges are not professional artists; in cases where they are unsure about the link between your art and our VISION, it will not be possible to award a prize. The judges’ decisions are final.

What types of art are eligible?

We welcome all forms of art, including:

  • creative writing (text limited to 10,000 words)
  • painting, illustration and graphic design e.g. posters
  • comics, storyboards and screenplays (comics/storyboards limited to 16 A4 pages)
  • fine art and sculpture
  • costume and textile art
  • models e.g. cityscapes, landscapes, architecture, interior design
  • poems and songs (both written and performed)
  • film & still photography
  • installation
  • performance

Your art should NOT feature any of the following: zombies, aliens, meteor strikes, intergalactic space travel, world wars. We are looking for plausible, optimistic, positive ideas about the future based on our VISION.

Do you have any tips for successful entries?

Successful entries will be those where:

  • The artist has clearly based their work on our VISION of a zero carbon future, which is intended to be positive, optimistic but plausible.
  • The artist has imagined what it will really be like to live in a zero carbon sustainable future
  • The artist has used their art to bring attention to an issue that has not been highlighted before (obviously this is hard to define in advance).

How do I enter the competition and submit my artwork?

Submit your art to James Mckay at the University of Leeds at as an attachment to your email – for example, if it is a story, or a photograph of a painting or sculpture, send it as a Word file or PDF.

Other media may be more complicated to submit – please explain details in your email and note that arranging submission may take some time. Where appropriate, it is recommended to submit a small low-resolution file initially as long as this clearly represents the main artwork.

You will be asked to give your permission for your art to be used in the project anthology book, and other project promotional materials.