About this Course
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.
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Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

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. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 29 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
Video6 videos
Complexity of climate change and development1m
Climate change - a super wicked problem9m
Our theory of change8m
MAPS 101: the MAPS approach3m
Reflection and what's next1m
Reading4 readings
Meet your instructors10m
How this course works10m
What is the MAPS programme?10m
Week 1: Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 1 Practice Quiz6m

2

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

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....
Reading
8 videos (Total 52 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video8 videos
Motivating change agents in a system6m
Designing the scenario building process8m
Building scenarios for mitigating climate change13m
Process design in Brazil2m
Using the Chaordic Stepping Stones process7m
Reflection2m
What's next1m
Reading1 readings
Week 2: Resources10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 2 Practice Quiz6m
Week 2 Graded Quiz12m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

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. ...
Reading
8 videos (Total 46 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video8 videos
Types of models10m
Model selection and sourcing of data6m
Communicating the model outputs6m
Who does the modelling?7m
Building development pathways in Peru6m
Reflection2m
What's next2m
Reading1 readings
Week 3: Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 3 Practice Quiz8m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

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....
Reading
9 videos (Total 65 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video9 videos
Defining the mitigation gap: global carbon budget8m
Developing national required-by-science and equity scenarios8m
Realising the mitigation gap scenario results8m
Reasons for the gap: technical perspective7m
Reasons for the gap: political perspective (part 1)6m
Reasons for the gap: political perspective (part 2)10m
Reflection: learning from failures5m
What's next?2m
Reading2 readings
Technical and political examples10m
Week 4: Resources10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 4 Practice Quiz6m
Week 4 Graded Quiz12m

5

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

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....
Reading
8 videos (Total 46 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video8 videos
Improving tools6m
Looking at science8m
New perspectives10m
Looking to the future9m
The next generation2m
Reflection1m
What's next?1m
Reading3 readings
Technical and systemic approaches10m
Responses at local and project levels10m
Week 5: Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 5 Practice Quiz6m

6

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

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. ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 67 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
Video11 videos
Bridge from knowledge to domestic policy8m
Knowledge on socio-economic implications of mitigation6m
Example on how MAPS Chile results were used for local pollutants domestic policy5m
Sectoral mitigation action plan in Colombia3m
Use of evidence in the Colombian sectorial mitigation plans2m
Bridge from domestic policy to international contributions2m
MAPS Chile informing the INDC7m
Climate Change Mitigation discussion with Harald15m
Reflection2m
Course Conclusion11m
Reading3 readings
Bridge from knowledge to domestic policy examples10m
Bridge from domestic policy to international contributions examples10m
Week 6: Resources10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 6 Practice Quiz6m
Final exam28m
4.6
Direction Signs

25%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By MGOct 4th 2016

Super-awesome course that taught me about the super-wicked problem of our time and how to effectively achieve climate change mitigation and development objectives from developing countries context

By CONov 10th 2017

The course has been very insightful to me as a climate change scientist. It has been very detailed and it has given me input that from a perspective that i had not thought of before. Thank you.

Instructor

About University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is the oldest university in South Africa and is one of the leading research universities on the African continent. UCT has over 25 000 students, of whom 30% are postgraduate students. We offer degrees in six faculties: Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science. We pride ourself on our diverse student body, which reflects the many cultures and backgrounds of the region. We welcome international students and are currently home to thousands of international students from over 100 countries. UCT has a tradition of academic excellence that is respected world-wide and is privileged to have more than 30 A-rated researchers on our staff, all of whom are recognised as world leaders in their field. Our aim is to ensure that our research contributes to the public good through sharing knowledge for the benefit of society. Past students include five Nobel Laureates – Max Theiler, Alan Cormack, Sir Aaron Klug, Ralph Bunche and, most recently, J M Coetzee....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • If you pay for this course, you will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate. If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

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