UNITAR Online Course on Climate Change Diplomacy

3 January 2014. Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of 21st century diplomacy and international governance. In order to promote the interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and capacities needed to address climate change in a diplomatic setting, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) delivers an e-learning course titled Climate Change Diplomacy: Negotiating Effectively Under UNFCCC from 24 February to 20 April 2014.

This online course aims to develop participants’ understanding of the climate change policy framework, by building an appreciation of the science, causes and impacts of climate change, the history of the policy making process and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) framework. It considers the pertinent challenges currently facing diplomats and international decision makers in making progress with what is currently on the negotiating table. Furthermore, it takes a close look at the negotiations to-date and considers the hot topics for negotiators as we move towards establishing a new global agreement on climate change by 2015. The course also considers gender in the negotiations and the specific interests of parties who are most vulnerable to impacts of climate change.

The course includes the following one-week modules:

  1. Understanding Climate Change and Global Vulnerabilities
  2. Introduction to Climate Change Diplomacy
  3. Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto its Protocol
  4. Mitigating Climate Change
  5. Adapting to Climate Change
  6. International Considerations for Climate Change Decision Making - International Climate Financing and Technology Transfer
  7. Capacity Building, Education, Research
  8. Progressing Towards Future Climate Agreements

At the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe climate change science and the observed and projected impacts of climate change;
  • Track and explain the international climate change policy framework, including the climate change negotiations to date under the UNFCCC;
  • Define both climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • Analyze international considerations for climate change decision-making;
  • Appraise the key issues in the ongoing international climate change negotiations, and how to build and move forward from the outcomes of COP19.

The course is internet-based, moderated by international experts, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. It consists of compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter; external links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons; quizzes and case studies at the end of each module; and a Community Discussion Board to post questions or comments.

The course targets mid to senior-level government officers in ministries preparing for and/or taking part in conferences in relation to climate change as well as staff of intergovernmental/nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies are related to this subject are also encouraged to apply.

The course is delivered over 8 weeks and requires a minimum of 60 hours. It is taught in English, therefore a good command of this language is required. The course fee is 800 USD. Climate change negotiators from the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries are eligible to apply for a fee-waiver. 

For further information please contact mdp-elearning@unitar.org or visit: http://www.unitar.org/event/climathttp://www.unitar.org/event/climate-change-diplomacy-negotiating-effectively-under-unfccc-0e-change-diplomacy-negotiating-effectively-under-unfccc-0.