HC 231H: Facing Climate Change: Inequality and Action

Professor: Leigh Johnson

4.00 credits

• CRN 13104: Tuesday & Thursday, 1215-1345 @ ED 276

This course orients students to the challenges climate change poses for human wellbeing and socioeconomic development in both the Global North and South. It is now obvious that the fossil-fuel intensive economic development that has characterized the last 200 years – and which have brought high standards of living to countries in the “Global North” – can no longer be pursued if the earth is to remain habitable for all its people. We know that the populations and countries least responsible for historical emissions are those most vulnerable to the looming impacts of climate change such as sea level rise, extreme weather events, and heat-related disease and mortality. This course explores the political and economic drivers of fossil fuel emissions around the world; the geographical uneveness of past and present emissions; existing global institutions for climate governance; climate impacts, exposure, and vulnerability; movements for climate justice; and robust mitigation and adaptation options. The course will build towards a final simulation in which students advocate for, critique, and select real-word adaptation and mitigation proposals submitted by countries to the UN’s Green Climate Fund in 2020.