E-learning course on Climate Change Diplomacy

Climate Change Diplomacy: Negotiating Effectively Under the UNFCCC

22 September - 16 November 2014
In collaboration with Ricardo-AEA and the CDKN Advocacy Fund


Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of 21st century diplomacy and international governance. Given the many different stakeholders and communities who have roles to play, it is a contemporary challenge with regard to its demand on interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and languages, and the personal capacities needed to combine these so as to make diplomatic sense and success.  Competing interests, political tensions, and challenges of the world today, such as the economic recession and competing development priorities, mean that negotiation deadlocks are rife and ways to overcome them are becoming more and more challenging to find. 

Course Objectives

This online course will develop participants’ understanding of the climate change policy framework, by building an appreciation of the science, causes and impacts of climate change, the history of the policy making process and the UNFCCC framework, and will also consider the pertinent challenges currently facing diplomats and international decision makers in making progress with what is currently on the negotiating table. The course will take a close look at the negotiations to-date and will consider the hot topics for negotiators as we move towards establishing a new global agreement on climate change by 2015. The course will take a close look at gender in the negotiations and also the specific interests of parties who are most vulnerable to impacts of climate change.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe climate change science and the observed and projected impacts of climate change;
  • Track and explain the international climate change policy framework, including the climate change negotiations to date under the UNFCCC;
  • Define both climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • Analyze international considerations for climate change decision-making;
  • Appraise the key issues in the ongoing international climate change negotiations and how to build and move forward from the outcomes of COP19 and prepare for COP20.

Target Audience

The course targets mid to senior-level government officers in ministries preparing for and/or taking part in conferences in relation to climate change as well as staff of intergovernmental / nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies are related to this subject are also encouraged to apply.


The course will be conducted in English over a period of eight weeks, each week consisting of a module focusing on a different topic. The course is internet-based, moderated by senior international experts, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning.

Registration and Course Fees

The course participation fee is 800 USD.You will receive an invoice by email after registration.Climate change negotiators from the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries are eligible to apply for a fee-waiver, with thanks to the CDKN Advocacy Fund. We particularly encourage applications from CDKN’s Engagement Countries: Bangladesh, the Caribbean, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda and Uganda.

Those interested should send their letter of application and CV to ccdiplomacy@unitar.org before 12 September 2014. Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.

Information about dates, registration and fees are available on http://www.unitar.org/event/by/mdp