Green Lens Review: The Film “2040”

An ad for the movie "2040," from Damon Gameau
An ad for the movie “2040,” from Damon Gameau

This blog is one in a series of Green Lens reviews, considering films from a sustainability perspective.

See my recent review of “Q Ball,” about the San Quentin Warriors, here.


2040” imagines what the world could be like when the filmmaker’s young daughter is an adult. In this future, we are winning the battle against climate change. The twist: we realize this future using tools we have now!

Writer, Director, Co-Producer: Damon Gameau. Gameau also made That Sugar Film, where he went on a low-fat, high-sugar diet for 60 days.

Key Appearances: Gameau interviews Paul Hawken, environmentalist and founder of Project Drawdown (a great place to learn about fighting climate change, at this link). Hawken also wrote Natural Capitalism, which talks about the services nature provides. Interviews with kids are an endearing and enlightening part of the film.


The film focuses on Doughnut Economics, developed by economist Kate Raworth. You’d think with the word “doughnut,” this concept would be something we want! But no. Doughnut Economics highlights the inequality resulting from today’s economic structure. The people losing out are in the hole (literally and otherwise). Fighting climate change reduces inequalities by distributing knowledge and economic resources, and improving health. “2040” has terrific doughnut graphics that show the benefit. Verdict: 1 lens


This film shows that existing technologies like solar micro grids and emerging trends like aqua permaculture can reduce carbon emissions and sequester the carbon in our atmosphere. I love the positive and solution oriented presentation. Verdict: 1 lens


The movie talked about reducing subsidies given to the fossil fuel industry, and retraining workers in our existing professions. Great ideas: but doing those things is harder than portrayed. Verdict: 1/2 lens

What Did I Think?

The movie had an engaging structure. The filmmaker journeys around the world to visit with kids. Solutions are presented by major topic, and each chapter ends with a glimpse into the daughter’s future life. And I liked the entertaining and clear way in which Gameau explained climate change. An extra lens for that, and a bonus lens for talking about the misinformation campaign sponsored by the fossil-backed powers! Verdict: 2 lenses

The Final Verdict: 4 1/2 Lenses

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