Course Code: CCS
Term: September 2015
Start Date: Sep 28 2015
End Date: Dec 18 2015
Duration: 12 weeks
This course has ended
Climate Change|Planetary Boundaries|Sustainable Development
Humanity has just about run out of time to address climate change. Scientists have pointed out that a rise in mean surface temperature of 2º Celsius above pre-industrial levels will put the Earth in dangerous, uncharted territory. Yet we currently are on a path toward an increase of 4º or more this century. The last chance for action has arrived. That chance lies in Paris in December 2015. Either governments will agree to decisive action, as they have promised, or we will look back at 2015 as the year when climate sanity slipped through our fingers.
Fortunately, solutions exist to deeply decarbonize the global energy systems, and put the world on a 2°C pathway: improvements in energy efficiency in the building, transport and industry sectors; the generation of low-carbon electricity, through a mix of renewable energies (wind, solar), nuclear, and fossil fuels with Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS); and the shift to low-carbon energy carriers in energy end-use sectors, such as electric vehicles.
During this semester, you will learn about these solutions, and how they can be applied in different national contexts, based on the results from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), a global initiative to show how countries can transition to a low carbon economy by 2050, and how the world can stay within the 2°C limit.
The course is structured around a series of pre-recorded lectures, readings, quizzes, discussion forums, and other activities. Each of these course components can be completed at a time that is convenient for the student, and most quizzes and timed activities are given a two-week window for completion. The material for each week is made available each Thursday, and once the material has been opened, it remains open for the duration of the course. There are no written assignments for this course.
In addition to the asynchronous components of the course, the instructors will hold 8-10 real-time Google Hangouts to encourage students to ask questions and engage directly with the instructors. These Hangouts 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 his/her 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, students must score an average of 70% or higher on the quizzes and final, all of which are multiple choice. Students that score 85% or higher will receive certificates of completion with distinction. While this course is not credit granting, we encourage students to work with their own institutions 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 CCSN Course Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or the SDSN Education Initiatives Team at email@example.com. For technical questions about the platform, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lecture 1: Towards a New Climate Change Agreement
Lecture 2: The Basics of Climate Change Science
Lecture 3: The 2-Degree Limit
Lecture 4: The 2-Degree Carbon Budget
Lecture 5: The Deep Decarbonization of Energy Systems
Lecture 6: The Key Technological Challenges of Deep Decarbonization
Lecture 7: Deep Decarbonization Pathways: Country Case Studies
Lecture 8: Energy & Development
Lecture 9: Main Challenges of Climate Change Negotiations
Lecture 10: Towards a New Climate Agreement Based on 2-Degrees Celsius
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Climate Change Science and Negotiations