This Engaged Cornell course will introduce students to climate change science and policy, with a focus on how science factors into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and how negotiations take place at the annual Conference of the Parties (COP). The course will enable Cornell students to participate in global, engaged learning at the most significant annual meeting of the U.N. on climate change; and make a vital contribution to their academic studies and decisions about future work in international environmental affairs. Students will critically analyze contemporary climate change science and global environmental policy-making; develop and address pertinent research questions; engage with experts in the field and help them with policy-relevant research; and develop experience with communications and social media. The course will involve lectures, discussions, readings, and group projects. Teams of students will work with partner organizations representing developing countries, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations to help them prepare for the COP. This innovative, cross-disciplinary course will provide a career-changing opportunity to students to engage in the global policy-making process to address a difficult environmental problem.
Students will develop substantive knowledge to: describe the basics of climate change science and the technical, scientific, economic and political challenges and opportunities that solving climate change represents; understand the diverse perspectives from a cultural, political, scientific and economic view of the problem and solutions of climate change to develop intercultural competence; explain the global climate change negotiations process, and articulate different viewpoints and north/south perspectives on the politically charged topics associated with climate change; evaluate future developments in light of the complex political and ethical issues behind climate negotiations.
Students will gain skills to: improve personal reflection; develop partnerships; work on projects.
Students will also develop technical skills to: communicate about climate change to/with different audiences; develop intercultural competence by working with diverse peers and partners; develop professional skills working and communicating with international partners.