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University of Pennsylvania

ESG and Climate Change

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Overview

In this course, you will focus on understanding climate change and the risks and opportunities that it creates for businesses in the 21st century. You will analyze the current impacts of climate change on a global scale, and the investment shifts that are required to achieve a net-zero economy. Next, you will analyze the role of climate disclosures and their importance in ESG.

You will also review private environmental governance, the active role that private companies are playing in combating climate change, and the parallels between the public and private sectors. Additionally, you will assess the insurance industry and the ways that it spreads risk, as well as creative ways that insurance as a form of private or public governance can build climate resilience. In the final module, you will review the concept of greenwashing: what is driving firms to make exaggerated environmental claims, why it is harmful, and examples of enforcement actions. Finally, you will learn about the importance of product stewardship.

By the end of this course, you will have a thorough understanding of public and private environmental governance, the financial risks that unmitigated climate change is creating, climate disclosures, and innovative ways that business leaders can view and implement climate solutions.

Syllabus

  • Module 1 – Introduction to Sustainability, Climate Risk & Opportunity
    • In this module, you will focus on understanding climate change and the risks and opportunities that it creates for businesses in the 21st century. You will analyze the current impacts of climate change on a global scale, and the investment shifts that are required to achieve a zero-carbon economy. Next, you will examine the stakeholders that are driving business firms to address climate change. You will learn how both the physical and financial stability risks that are imposed by more frequent natural disasters can affect business firms and the global economy. By the end of this module, you will have a detailed overview of the financial impacts of climate change, the ways that governments are addressing climate change, and the financial risks that unmitigated climate change is creating.
  • Module 2 – Public and Private Governance to Address Climate Change Goals
    • In this module, you will take an in-depth look at public environmental law and the distinct eras that have shaped modern-day climate policy. You will also review private environmental governance, examining the active role that private companies are playing in combating climate change as well as the parallels between the public and private sectors. Next, you will analyze the role of climate disclosures: what they require and their importance in ESG. By the end of this module, you will be able to differentiate between public and private environmental governance and their objectives, identify the three eras of public environmental law, and distinguish the role and goals of climate disclosures.
  • Module 3 – Building Climate Resilience through Creative Private Solutions
    • In this module, you will examine ecosystem services and the various methods used to promote climate resilience. You will review the ways in which public law addresses wildlife and habitat conservation and identify the limitations in meeting the demands of conservation efforts, especially when quick action is required to address disasters. Lastly, you will assess the insurance industry and the ways that it spreads risk, as well as creative ways that insurance as a form of private or public governance can build climate resilience. By the end of this module, you will have had a critical look at the different methods of building climate resilience, minimizing the impact of climate change through nature-based solutions, and two primary methods of insurance that can spread risk. You will understand the ways that private insurance can protect ecosystem services, and you will have identified innovative ways that business leaders can view climate solutions.
  • Module 4 – Extended Producer Responsibility, Product Stewardship, and the Circular Economy
    • In this module, you will learn about the idea of promoting a circular economy through better stewardship of resources and waste management. You will analyze the waste and recycling streams in the United States and the effects that they have on the environment. You will also examine the challenges with recycling programs worldwide. Next, you will evaluate product stewardship, and the key players in that lifecycle, and will learn to differentiate between product stewardship and extended producer responsibility. Lastly, you will review the concept of greenwashing: what is driving firms to make exaggerated environmental claims, why it is harmful, and examples of enforcement actions. By the end of this module, you will have assessed the importance of product stewardship, reviewed some of the limits on green marketing, and analyzed increasing regulatory action.

Taught by

Sarah Light

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