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Climate Change Diplomacy

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Climate Change Diplomacy

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Web Based
12 Sep 2011 to 5 Nov 2011
Duration of event:
8 Weeks
Programme Area:
Peace Security and Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy
Specific Target Audience:
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Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Understanding climate change is a work in progress for the scientific community, however the risks that it already poses mean that mitigation and adaptation efforts command the expertise of economists, development agencies and policy makers alike. This course brings together these cross-cutting themes in the context of diplomacy by introducing challenges from a scientific perspective, examining the international policy framework of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, and analyzing the most important issues concerning diplomats and negotiators working in this field.


This online course aims to facilitate international negotiations, public sector work, and diplomatic engagement in relation to climate change through an enhanced understanding of its science, international policy framework, and the key negotiation issues pertinent to a post 2012 agreement.

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

  • Comprehend climate change science and the observed and projected climate change impacts
  • Explain the international climate change policy framework, including the climate change negotiations to date
  • Define both climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Appreciate international considerations for climate change decision-making
  • Appraise the key issues in the ongoing international climate change negotiations, and recognize and analyse the next steps for COP17 and beyond

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

  1. Climate Change Science, Causes and Impacts
  2. Introduction to Climate Change Diplomacy
  3. Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol
  4. Mitigating Climate Change
  5. Adapting to Climate Change
  6. International Considerations for Climate Change Decision Making
  7. Other Important Considerations for International Climate Change Negotiations
  8. Towards a Post 2012 Agreement

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;
  • A Community Discussion Board will be available for participants to post questions or comments visible to the instructor and other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR;
  • Estimated learning time: minimum of 60 hours;
  • Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course.
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 participation fee is 800 USD. You will receive an invoice by email after registration.

Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are eligible to apply for a fellowship. Please click here for more details. Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.

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