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Database Provider


Nigel Topping


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Economics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 23 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



Downloadable MP4/M4V

3 Rules for a Zero Carbon World

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  • In this TED video, Nigel Topping, the UN's High-Level Climate Action Champion, outlines three key rules that will help the global economy achieve a zero-carbon future. 
  • Students will learn that each industry will have to harness ambition loops, set exponential goals, and create shared action pathways to eliminate greenhouse emissions. 
Teaching Tips


  • Nigel Topping shares his pathway to becoming involved in climate action, which could inspire students to consider similar careers.
  • The video emphasizes the importance of telling positive stories about the future of our planet.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video is best for advanced students as it is dense and uses business language.
  • Students should have a strong understanding of climate change.
  • Subtitles and transcripts are available in 12 languages; however, the transcript is not available in English.


  • Teachers could pause the video throughout to debrief and help students understand the language.
  • Economics, business, politics, and government classes could discuss the way that Nigel Topping sees systems as sets of repeating patterns.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on using economic tools to achieve environmental goals and this timeline on the UN climate talks.
Scientist Notes
This 12-minute TED talk is a presentation of three rules that can help drive collaborative action and innovation within industries and the economy. It's a business language-heavy video that might be difficult to follow for students unfamiliar with business language but is otherwise a good way to learn about how economic and business innovation geared towards climate action takes place. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Social Sciences
    • Civics and Government (K-12)
      • HS.11 Analyze and evaluate the methods for challenging, resisting, and changing society in the promotion of equity, justice, and equality.
    • Economics: Global Economy (9-12)
      • HS.24 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, labor conditions, human rights, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
    • Economics: Microeconomics/Decision-Making (9-12)
      • HS.13 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
    • Economics: National Economy (9-12)
      • HS.21 Analyze the ways in which incentives and competition influence production and distribution in a market system.
    • Geography (K-12)
      • HS.43 Evaluate how economic globalization and the expanding use of scarce resources contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among countries.
      • HS.49 Evaluate the consequences of human-made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.
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