Course Code: LES
Term: June 2017
Start Date: Jun 19 2017
End Date: Sep 12 2017
Duration: 13 weeks
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Climate change represents the greatest challenge––and the greatest opportunity–– of our lifetimes. Climate Action: Solutions for a Changing Planet explores the options available, at both the community and individual level, to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonize the economy, and ensure a safe and prosperous climate future for all.
The solutions covered in this course were primarily captured at the 2016 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) during the Low-Emissions Solution Conference. The course provides an overview of the technologies and activities available to implement the Paris Climate Agreement; exploring key components of deep decarbonization pathways, and low emission energy strategies using long-term modeling. Modules delve into the role of agriculture and satellite monitoring in emissions reduction goals, as well as the policy priorities, business solutions, and individual public actions that can help societies transition to low carbon living.
Climate Action is taught by professors and researchers from world-renowned institutions, including Columbia University’s Earth Institute, the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the World Business Council For Sustainable Development (WBCSD). By joining the course, you will not only learn about the most up-to-date opportunities for confronting climate challenges but will also join a global cohort of students and peer practitioners working towards the next generation of low emission solutions!
The course is structured around a series of pre-recorded lectures, readings, quizzes, discussion forums, and activities. Each of these course components can be completed at a time that is convenient for the student. The material for each week is made available each Monday, and once the material has been opened, it remains open for the duration of the course.
In addition to the asynchronous components of the course, the instructors will hold real-time Live Q&A sessions to encourage students to ask questions and engage directly with the instructors. These sessions will be announced 1-2 weeks in advance. The estimated time commitment to complete all course components is 4-6 hours per week, though this depends heavily on the student and her/his objectives in taking the course.
All students who successfully complete the course will receive a digital certificate of completion signed by the instructors. In order to successfully complete the course and receive a Certificate of Proficiency, students must score an average of 70% or higher on the graded material. Students who score 85% or higher will receive a Certificate of Proficiency with Distinction. While this course is not credit granting, we encourage students to work with their institution to explore the option of granting credit for online coursework.
If you have any additional questions on the course structure or requirements, please email the SDG Academy at email@example.com. For technical questions about the platform, please email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Module 1A: Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement (Part 1)
1.1 The Goal: < 2°C (Part 1)
1.2 The Goal: < 2°C (Part 2)
1.3 The Carbon Budget (Part 1)
1.4 The Carbon Budget (Part 2)
Module 1B: Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement (Part 2)
1.5 Deep Decarbonization: Reaching Net-Zero by the Second Half of the Century (Part 1)
1.6 Deep Decarbonization: Reaching Net-Zero by the Second Half of the Century (Part 2)
1.7 Sources and Sinks: Energy, Land Use, CCS (Part 1)
1.8 Sources and Sinks: Energy, Land Use, CCS (Part 2)
1.9 Uncertainties, Precaution, and Insurance (Part 1)
1.10 Uncertainties, Precaution, and Insurance (Part 2)
Module 2A: Deep Decarbonization: The Three Pillars and National Case Studies (Part 1)
2.1.Deep Decarbonization Pathway Planning and Mid-Century Strategies
2.2 The Three Pillars of Decarbonization
2.3 Case Study: US Deep Decarbonization (Part 1)
2.4 Case Study: US Deep Decarbonization (Part 2)
Module 2B: Deep Decarbonization: The Three Pillars and National Case Studies (Part 2)
2.5 Case Study: Russia Deep Decarbonization
2.6 Case Study: Canada Deep Decarbonization
2.7 Case Study: Australia Deep Decarbonization
2.8 Challenges in the Decarbonization Transition
COURSE BREAK 1
Module 3: Low Emissions Electricity & Renewables
3.1 The Role of Innovation to Reduce Emissions
3.2 Innovative Off-Grid Energy Solutions
3.3 Renewables: Solar
3.4 Renewables: Wind
3.5 Nuclear Power
3.6 Transmission, Energy Storage and Grid Integration
3.7 Life Cycle Analysis
Module 4: Agriculture and Emissions
4.1 Earth Observations for Climate Mitigation
4.2 The Need to Reduce Uncertainties in Global Land-Use Information
4.3 Global Crop Models and Their Potential to Assess Mitigation Options in Agriculture
Module 5A: Monitoring Land Use (Part 1)
5.1 Mitigation on Land and the SDGs (Part 1)
5.2 Mitigation on Land and the SDGs (Part 2)
5.3 GHG Mitigation in Agriculture (Part 1)
5.4 GHG Mitigation in Agriculture (Part 2)
Module 5B: Monitoring Land Use (Part 2)
5.5 Using System Analysis for Globally Consistent National Mitigation Planning (Part 1)
5.6 Using System Analysis for Globally Consistent National Mitigation Planning (Part 2)
5.7 Case Study: Brazil’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution
5.8 Supply Chain Solutions to Deforestation: Evidence from Brazil
COURSE BREAK 2
Module 6: Policy Tools for the Transition to Low-Emissions
6.1 Principles of Public Policy
6.2 Putting a Price on Carbon (Part 1)
6.3 Putting a Price on Carbon (Part 2)
6.4 Intellectual Property, Access, and Innovation
6.5 Climate Fairness & Justice (Part 1)
6.6 Climate Fairness & Justice (Part 2)
Module 7: Low-Emission Solutions and the Business Community
7.1 Business Solutions for Climate Change
7.2 Technology Partnerships to Tackle Climate Change
7.3 Business Action in Practice: Renewables
7.4 Sustainable Transport Systems
7.5 The Role of Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
Course Conclusion: Public Actions Necessary to Reach 1.5°C
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Climate Action: Solutions for a Changing Planet