Length Length

10 modules, accessible at any time

Effort Effort

2-4 hours per module

Price Price

FREE

Languages Languages

English

Video Transcripts Video Transcripts

English

Prerequisites Prerequisites

None

Requirements Requirements

An internet connection to access course materials

THE BASICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Energy balance, emissions and more

THE BASICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGE
The role of nuclear power, electric vehicles and other technologies

TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGE
THE 2-DEGREE LIMIT

What is this and why do we have it?

THE 2-DEGREE LIMIT
GLOBAL NEGOTIATIONS AND AGREEMENTS
All about the process to regulate climate change and

climate action

GLOBAL NEGOTIATIONS AND AGREEMENTS

Overview

This course is self-paced – you can enroll immediately and complete the course materials at any time before August 31, 2019.

The time to address climate change is now. The mean surface temperature of the Earth has risen dangerously and spurred devastating impacts – and not just on natural ecosystems worldwide, but on daily human life. We are currently on pace towards a temperature increase of 4°C or more this century, while scientists and policymakers propose targets of just 1-2°C to avoid the total destruction of the planet.

In this massive open online course, learn solutions to mitigate the effects of the global greenhouse gas emissions causing temperature rise, and how to apply these solutions in different national contexts improvements.

NOTE:
This course was created before the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP21 – in Paris. While the political situation has shifted rapidly, this course provides a solid overview of the science behind climate change.

Climate Change Science and Negotiations is a single-semester course. Please ignore all references to a second semester.

structure

  • Pre-recorded lectures
  • Readings
  • Quizzes
  • Discussion forum

Lead Faculty

  • Jeffrey Sachs

    Jeffrey Sachs

    Professor, Columbia University

  • Emmanuel Guerin

    Emmanuel Guerin

    Executive Director for Global Policies, European Climate Foundation

This course is for

Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in the fields of sustainable development, environmental science, sustainable business, international relations or related fields who are interested in the latest on climate change

Climate change activists who want a concise overview of the current issues shaping debate and action

Sustainable development practitioners – as well as private-sector actors, such as corporate sustainability and responsibility groups and those who work in the technology or energy industries – who need to understand key issues and facts about climate change, including emissions targets and emerging regulations

Questions?

Course logistics and requirements

This course is self-paced. All course components are available now and can be completed at any time that is convenient for the students.

Please note that this course is not facilitated by a course team. We encourage students to engage with one another via the discussion forum. Any specific questions can be sent to the SDG Academy team at sdgacademy@unsdsn.org.

Certificates

Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible to purchase a Verified Certificate signed by the course instructors.

syllabus

Module 1: Towards a New Climate Change Agreement

1.1

The Challenge of Human Induced Climate Change

1.2

The History of Climate Change Science

1.3

The UNFCCC

1.4

From Kyoto to Copenhagen

1.5

Towards COP21

Module 2: The Basics of Climate Change Science

2.1

The Earth’s Energy Balance

2.2

The Greenhouse Gases and Feedbacks

2.3

The Relentless Ride of CO

2.4

Other Drivers of Climate Change

2.5

Recent History of Climate Chang

Module 3: The 2-Degree Limit

3.1

The Business As Usual Trajectory

3.2

The Consequences of the BAU Trajectory

3.3

Limiting the Mean Surface Temperature Increase Below 2-Degrees Celsius vs. Pre-Industrial Levels

3.4

Debates Over the 2-Degree Celsius Limit

Module 4: The 2-Degree Carbon Budget

4.1

What is a Carbon Budget?

4.2

What is the Global Carbon Budget for the 2-Degree Limit?

4.3

What is the Global Emissions Reduction Pathway for the 2-Degree Limit?

4.4

How Does It Compare with the Potential Emissions from Fossil Fuel Reserves & Resources?

Module 5: The Deep Decarbonization of Energy Systems

5.1

What is an Energy System?

5.2

Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Trends

5.3

The 3 Pillars of the Deep Decarbonization of Energy Systems

5.4

A Global Mitigation Scenario

Module 6: The Key Technological Challenges of Deep Decarbonizatio

6.1

The Need for Accelerated Development of Low-Carbon Technologies

6.2

Key Technology Areas for RDD&D

6.3

Grid Management of Power Systems with High Penetration of Renewable Energies

6.4

Carbon Capture & Sequestration

6.5

Advanced Nuclear Power

6.6

Electric Vehicles and Advanced Biofuels

6.7

The Role of Technology Roadmaps and Roundtables

Module 7: Deep Decarbonization Pathways: Country Case Studies

7.1

Why Countries Need Deep Decarbonization Pathways to 2050

7.2

The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project

7.3

What We Learn From Countries’ Deep Decarbonization Pathways

7.4

Lessons for the Global Agreement on Climate Change at COP21 in Paris in 201

Module 8: Energy & Development

8.1

Energy & Poverty

8.2

A World Without Modern Energy

8.3

Energy for All in Africa

8.4

How Climate Change Threatens the Poorest of the Poor

8.5

Sustainable Energy for All

Module 9: Main Challenges of Climate Change Negotiations

9.1

Efficiency & Fairness

9.2

Basic Principles of a Global Agreement

9.3

What is Fair?

9.4

Making an Agreement Stick

9.5

Problem-Solving Versus Negotiating

Module 10: Towards a New Climate Agreement Based on 2-Degrees Celsius

10.1

The Three-Tiered Structure of Mitigation Commitments

10.2

Technology RDD&D

10.3

Climate Financing

10.4

Can Everybody Win? Should Everybody Win?

10.5

Achieving Large Global Goals