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Tackling Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Future

University of York via FutureLearn


Explore sustainable solutions to environmental issues like changing glaciers

Our energy use is unsustainable, we’re producing waste plastic that’s endangering oceans, and large parts of the natural world are disappearing. We know our planet is facing huge environmental challenges, but what are we doing to solve them?

On this course, you’ll discover how the environment is studied and learn how research at the University of York is helping to develop sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

The course will encourage you to reflect on the importance of a more sustainable future for our planet and will introduce you to the role the Sustainable Development Goals can play.

There has never been a more important time to study the environment. This course is designed for anyone interested in how research is informing our knowledge of global environmental issues and potential solutions.

The course will be particularly useful for final year school students who are considering studying an environmental course at university. It will also appeal to anyone with an interest and with a general understanding of issues surrounding environmental issues.


  • Changing glaciers
    • Welcome
    • An introduction to glaciers
    • The importance of increased melt rates
    • Monitoring and measuring change in glaciers
    • Policy and the future of glaciers
    • Summary and closing thoughts
  • Protecting our oceans
    • Introduction: The blue planet
    • Fisheries and aquaculture: The good, the bad and the ugly
    • Climate change and the oceans: Warming up and turning sour
    • Ocean pollution
    • Ocean optimism: Solutions
    • Final thoughts and knowledge
  • Environment and development
    • Introduction: What is development?
    • Development and CO2
    • Development and the oceans: An example from Indonesia
    • Development and energy: An example from Tanzania
    • Development and biodiversity
    • Summary and closing thoughts
  • Energy and Society
    • Introduction: Energy and Society
    • What sort of energy system do we want?
    • What is driving the need to change our energy system?
    • Public attitudes to supply-side options/energy developments
    • Energy and society in developing countries: Energy for resilience
    • Geoengineering
    • Final thoughts

Taught by

David Rippin


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 140 ratings

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