Climate change is one of the most controversial issues of the 21st century. Furthermore, it is not just a scientific concern but also a legal, economic, development and geopolitical issue. This course brings together these cross-cutting themes in the context of diplomacy by introducing this challenge from a scientific understanding, by examining the international policy framework of the UNFCC and the Kyoto Protocol, and by analysing the most important climate change considerations for 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 COP16 and beyond
The course content is to be confirmed but will tentatively include the following one-week modules:
- Climate Change Science, Causes and Impacts
- Introduction to Climate Change Diplomacy
- Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol
- Mitigating Climate Change
- Adapting to Climate Change
- International Considerations for Climate Change Decision Making
- Other Important Considerations for International Climate Change Negotiations
- 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 line ministries preparing for and/or taking part in conferences 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.