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Climate Change Science and Negotiations

SDG Academy

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Overview

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.

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 course, 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.

Please note that this course was created before the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, in Paris. We are offering it again now because we think much of the course is still relevant. There are other courses, such as Climate Action: Our Changing Planet, that have been more recently updated.

Syllabus

Lecture 1: Towards a New Climate Change Agreement

  • Chapter 1: The Challenge of Human Induced Climate Change
  • Chapter 2: The History of Climate Change Science
  • Chapter 3: The UNFCCC
  • Chapter 4: From Kyoto to Copenhagen
  • Chapter 5: Towards COP21

Lecture 2: The Basics of Climate Change Science

  • Chapter 1: The Earth’s Energy Balance
  • Chapter 2: The Greenhouse Gases and Feedbacks
  • Chapter 3: The Relentless Ride of CO2
  • Chapter 4: Other Drivers of Climate Change
  • Chapter 5: Recent History of Climate Change

Lecture 3: The 2-Degree Limit

  • Chapter 1: The Business As Usual Trajectory
  • Chapter 2: The Consequences of the BAU Trajectory
  • Chapter 3: Limiting the Mean Surface Temperature Increase Below 2-Degrees Celsius vs. Pre-Industrial Levels
  • Chapter 4: Debates Over the 2-Degree Celsius Limit

Lecture 4: The 2-Degree Carbon Budget

  • Chapter 1: What is a Carbon Budget?
  • Chapter 2: What is the Global Carbon Budget for the 2-Degree Limit?
  • Chapter 3: What is the Global Emissions Reduction Pathway for the 2-Degree Limit?
  • Chapter 4: How Does It Compare with the Potential Emissions from Fossil Fuel Reserves & Resources?

Lecture 5: The Deep Decarbonization of Energy Systems

  • Chapter 1: What is an Energy System?
  • Chapter 2: Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Trends
  • Chapter 3: The 3 Pillars of the Deep Decarbonization of Energy Systems
  • Chapter 4: A Global Mitigation Scenario

Lecture 6: The Key Technological Challenges of Deep Decarbonization

  • Chapter 1: The Need for Accelerated Development of Low-Carbon Technologies
  • Chapter 2: Key Technology Areas for RDD&D
  • Chapter 3: Grid Management of Power Systems with High Penetration of Renewable Energies
  • Chapter 4: Carbon Capture & Sequestration
  • Chapter 5: Advanced Nuclear Power
  • Chapter 6: Electric Vehicles and Advanced Biofuels
  • Chapter 7: The Role of Technology Roadmaps and Roundtables

Lecture 7: Deep Decarbonization Pathways: Country Case Studies

  • Chapter 1: Why Countries Need Deep Decarbonization Pathways to 2050
  • Chapter 2: The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project
  • Chapter 3: What We Learn From Countries’ Deep Decarbonization Pathways
  • Chapter 4: Lessons for the Global Agreement on Climate Change at COP21 in Paris in 2015

Lecture 8:  Energy & Development

  • Chapter 1: Energy & Poverty
  • Chapter 2: A World Without Modern Energy
  • Chapter 3: Energy for All in Africa
  • Chapter 4: How Climate Change Threatens the Poorest of the Poor
  • Chapter 5: Sustainable Energy for All

Lecture 9: Main Challenges of Climate Change Negotiations

  • Chapter 1: Efficiency & Fairness
  • Chapter 2: Basic Principles of a Global Agreement
  • Chapter 3: What is Fair?
  • Chapter 4: Making an Agreement Stick
  • Chapter 5: Problem-Solving Versus Negotiating

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

  • Chapter 1: The Three-Tiered Structure of Mitigation Commitments
  • Chapter 2: Technology RDD&D
  • Chapter 3: Climate Financing
  • Chapter 4: Can Everybody Win? Should Everybody Win?
  • Chapter 5: Achieving Large Global Goals

Taught by

Emmanuel Guerin and Jeffrey Sachs

Reviews for Climate Change Science and Negotiations
4.4 Based on 8 reviews

  • 5 stars 38%
  • 4 stars 63%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Dr W
4.0 a year ago
by Dr completed this course, spending 13 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This course was complicated but interesting. Professor Jeffrey Sachs discussed topics in depth, but the format was always as a lecture, and could be lengthy at times. The approach is academic. It brought us up to date on climate negotiations and the burning issue remains just how hard it is to get unaccountable states to agree to meaningful measures. States play too many games and cover this with international law: words may have particular meanings that are at variance with common usage. Aimed mostly at people who are left-brained, but the material is very relevant to our modern world.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Vishal M
5.0 4 years ago
by Vishal partially completed this course.
This coarse makes you come across with the most common problem 21st century people are facing and shows you the way you are contributing to this problem.. Well organised lecture giving all details about the origin and solution of the problem. .Must take coarse for students
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous partially completed this course.
Gives you detail about the most common problem 21st century people are facing. Shows you the ways in which you yourself are contributing to this problem, so remedies for the problem..

A must take topic for people is what i feel
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Gy N
5.0 6 months ago
by Gy completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
A Must-study course for those who are interested in global warming and climate change. The course detail discuss global warming in different aspect and the problems in negotiation between different countries.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Ruchika C
4.0 4 years ago
by Ruchika partially completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
A fantastic course to learn. Provides us with great content delivered in an organized way and help us understand the very notion of the word "climate" and the links attached to it.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Dhananjay C
4.0 4 years ago
by Dhananjay partially completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
A course which makes us aware about our surroundings and the issues linked to it. Thus providing the knowledge of various linked issues and their possible solutions. Must go for it!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Sakshi S
4.0 4 years ago
by Sakshi partially completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Interesting course with great content, delivered in an organized manner. Helps to better understand the changes in our surroundings. Go for it!

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Alexandre M
4.0 2 years ago
by Alexandre completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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