Climate Change Diplomacy: Negotiating Effectively Under UNFCCC




03 Feb - 02 Mar 2014

Duration of event:

4 weeks



Programme area:

Peace Security and Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy



Event focal point email:

Other events details:

Private – by invitation   E-learning    English   open to register/apply

Private events - by invitation only are reserved for a pre-determined group of participants.


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.

Event 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 the specific interests of parties who are most vulnerable to impacts of climate change.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this 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; 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.

Content and Structure

The course content is to be confirmed but will tentatively include the following one-week modules:


1.         Understanding Climate Change and Global Vulnerabilities

2.         Introduction to Climate Change Diplomacy

3.         International Considerations for Climate Change Decision Making- International Climate Financing and Technology Transfer

4.         Capacity Building, Education, Research



e-Learning:The course is internet-based, moderated by senior international experts, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. The participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning over the eight-week span of the course. The course will consist of the following components:

•         Compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter;
•         External links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons;
•         Quizzes and case studies at the end of each module. To be eligible for the course certificate, a passing grade of 80% on both quizzes and case studies is required;


Targeted Audience

The course targets climate change negotiators from SIDS.

Additional Information

General Requirements

  • Have a good command of the English language
  • Be computer literate

Technical Requirements

UNITAR recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses. Please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:

  • Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
  • Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
  • Software:
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader (click here to download for free)
    • Adobe Flash Player (click here to download for free)
    • Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office (click here to download for free)
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher (click here to download for free); it works better with Firefox 3.6 or higher (click here to download for free) 
  • Note that JavaScript, Cookies and Pop-ups must be enabled