This course challenges you to consider how one might lift societies out of poverty while also mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. We explore the inherent complexity of developing country governments wanting to grow their economies in a climate friendly way. You will be introduced to an approach with which to address this challenge. The approach consists of a facilitated process whereby academic researchers and high-level influential actors within society co-produce knowledge. You will track this process in four Latin American countries - Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and South Africa. You will hear from various professionals about their contexts and the different challenges and opportunities the process includes.
This course will cover topics such as facilitation process techniques, energy modeling, scenario building, innovation and policy making. You will have the opportunity to respond to these topics with ideas and reflection from your own context. Whether you are a climate change practitioner, work in development or are simply curious about how climate mitigation is understood, this course will give you insights into the complexity of how countries from the South pursue development goals while addressing climate mitigation.
The course is free to enroll and take. You will be offered the option of purchasing a certificate of completion, which you become eligible for if you successfully complete the course requirements. This can be an excellent way of staying motivated! Financial Aid is also available.
Complexity of climate change mitigation
-Climate change and development both involve many complex problems. Each are 'wicked' problems, meaning they defy easy solutions. Tackling both development and climate change together is a 'super-wicked' problem. But we must start by taking a first step to responding to this 'super-wicked' problem. To do this we’ll share our experiments drawing particularly on the MAPS community, which includes Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and South Africa.
Mandating and co-production of knowledge
-Our approach to mitigation and development is essentially a process that spurs change within a system. The premise is that change happens through co-production of knowledge, which in turn encourages action by actors in a system. We ask the questions: what is the best way to start such an intervention? What could the intervention look like? What are the options for the process design? This week we review the role a Scenario Building Team has to play in supporting knowledge generation.
Mitigation action research and modelling
-Knowledge generated through research can effect change. We describe the models and tools that are available to support the generation of this knowledge. Apart from knowledge related to greenhouse gas mitigation and the costs thereof, we are interested in the positive and negative developmental impacts of moving to a low carbon economy. Emissions and costs are relatively easy to quantify but developmental impacts are less easily quantified. This week, we explore how this challenge can be addressed.
Minding the mitigation gap
-What happens when your best efforts are not good enough? We will look at the ‘gaps’ between where we would like to be and where we are.The direction emission trends are headed is a function of everything put into the model (such as population, growth and GDP, and technology). Yet what is required by science is driven by considerations such as how we need to reduce emissions to keep temperature rises below two degrees. This week, in exploring some of the potential reasons for this gap we consider technical reasons and other pushbacks, like vested-interests, political or inherent human behaviour.
Responding to mitigation challenges
-There are limitations within our existing toolsets and ways of thinking how we might address the mitigation gap. We need to look more closely at the interface of economic and development pathways and to question the way in which climate change mitigation professionals are approaching this huge and complex climate and development problem. Responses to these challenges include linking of economic and mitigation model to better understand the interconnectedness of mitigation policies and economic development, and involves out-of-the-box thinking when imagining climate and development solutions of the future. This week we hope to inspire innovations and responses to challenges in the climate mitigation and development community.
Bridges to domestic and international policy
-This is the final module and it tells the story of how we have moved to the end of the scenario building process, and what the impacts of this approach are. This week we speak of two bridges: the bridge between knowledge and domestic policy, and domestic policy and international contributions.
This course discusses how the MAPS teams went about engaging stakeholders and reaching agreement about emissions scenarios and climate change actions. It taught me a lot about the political side of climate change mitigation in developing countries, and I found this interesting. The course doesn't include much discussion of practical mitigation techniques - it is more about the MAPS processes of collaboration and knowledge building.
This was an extremely helpful course in learning about Climate mitigation in the context of the MAPS approach. It was well structured and mostly quite engaging. The complexity of the problem was well explained and the need for innovation was stressed. I would say my general understanding of the intricacies of Climate Change and Development have been greatly improved.
I've read about climate change since 1972, taken several other Coursera classes on the subject, but this has made a paradigm shift in my thinking on the complexity of climate mitigation. Living in the US, I simply did not recognize how complex the issue of combining the need to develop and decrease fossil fuel dependency
I enjoyed the course very much, I learned a lot and I got some interesting concepts that I will use in my daily work. The vast consulting material is incredible. I thank the organizers and contributors for all the material prepared for the course. Best regards
Quite an interesting MOOC. Thought will just audit, but kept interested till completed. Good for professionals and applicable to NAP-Ag plans and implementation especially in sub Saharan Africa ........