EDS355 Climate Change and Development
There may be changes to the course due to to corona restrictions. See Canvas and StudentWeb for info.
Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .
Course responsible: Siri Ellen Hallstrøm Eriksen
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation during the autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually.
First time: 2008V
M-IES, M-DS, M-IR, M-GLA, M-BYREG, M-FOL
NB! Course not offered in spring 2021 - next time in autumn 2021.
Objectives of course
Climate change is one of the defining development challenges in the 21st century. In this course, students will learn about the characteristics, challenges and opportunities with respect to a complex climate-development relationship. The course introduces students to a range of topics related to the causes of, and socio-political responses to anthropogenic climate change. Both natural and social science aspects are touched upon, making it an interdisciplinary course suited for students from a variety of programme fields. After the course, students will be able to discuss, and have a grounded understanding of the relationship between science, policy, and practice with emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaptation and possible transformative pathways to sustainability. Besides lectures on theoretical subjects, case studies and seminars will allow for practical illustration of issues and active student involvement.
During the first part of the course the students will be introduced to key concepts and issues within climate change and developed through lectures, the course textbook and some additional readings. Key concepts and themes relate to the following:
Understanding climate change, sources and development linkages: Different approaches to understanding climate change - society linkages: Interaction between climate change, poverty and livelihoods; multiple stressors and tipping points; sources of and growth in emissions; agricultural adaptation and food security; political dimensions of climate change adaptation; renewable energy and policy; transformation to sustainability. Case studies from different parts of the world and seminar debates illustrate and supplement lectures.
During the second half of the course, students will choose between two themes for in-depth study through seminars and other interactive methods of student involvement. The two themes are 1) Climate change vulnerability, social justice and transformation; and 2) Governing climate change in the context of multiple socio-environmental changes.
During this part of the course, the students will write a term paper related to one of the in-depth study themes.
The student is able to understand and critically analyse the relationship between climate change and development, has an overview of the main socio-environmental mechanisms of change and how these are related to societal development, sustainability and well-being.
The student is able to put critical thinking about the links between climate change and development into practice and to perform a critical evaluation of an example of climate change action (adaptation or mitigation) within a sector or societal sphere.
The student is able to present such a critical evaluation written and orally.
The student is able to work collaboratively with others across different cultures and scientific backgrounds.
The student is able to critically explore an independently choosen topic related to key themes and empirical cases highlighted in the course. The student is able to access relevant scientific literature in order to reflect independently on the topic, and convey a nuanced, in-depth understanding of the topic this in writing. The student is able to find and understand academic references that are relevant to the exploration of the aforementioned topics, formulate focused research questions and sound academic arguments in a structured, academic way while using standardized guidelines for academic writing.
4 hours lectures/seminars per week, group work & term paper
Lectures: Course readings (refer to course syllabus) and lecture notes. Further course readings will be added prior to course start. Lecture notes are provided after each lecture.
Student seminars and group work include activities to support reading and exploration of key themes and empirical case studies presented in the course, as well as writing of the term paper.
Term paper: Students will be provided with broad key themes for selecting a topic for the term paper, and will be given supervision by the lecturer(s) in the selection of the topic and in developing the structure and focus of the term paper. After submission, each student receives feedback on his/her term paper.
Leichenko and O’Brien (2019) Climate and Society. Transforming the future. Polity. 250 pp.
Full reading list (selected articles, reports and book chapters) is made available on Canvas
A Bachelor degree or equivalent in a relevant field
EDS260 or equivalent.
Group work. Selected seminars.
Written exam graded A-F (40%).
Term paper graded A-F (60%).
Group work (pass/fail)
Please note that passing the term paper and group work is a requirement for being eligible for a grade on this course
Must have obtained a Bachelor degree or equivalent in a relevant field
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
4 hours lectures per week. Term paper. Group work in relation to student seminars.
Internal and external examiner grade the exams and term papers.
Examination details: Combined assessment: A - E / F