With the new, interdisciplinary course “Climate Change Solutions” that starts this autumn, Stockholm University aims to contribute solutions to the climate crisis. The course is open to students from all study areas at Stockholm University.
The course is run for the first time during the autumn term of 2019 and engages researchers and teachers from four faculties and ten departments across Stockholm University.
“Tackling the complex challenges that climate change entails requires a broad approach. Stockholm University has a unique competence in climate related matters, which means that we are particularly well suited to establish a collaboration between the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and law”, says Örjan Gustafsson, Professor at ACES, and Course Coordinator.
“Climate Change Solutions” is given in English and includes lectures such as “Behavioural Changes”, “Humans & Nature: How did we get here?” and “Bending the Curve with Sustainable Transportation.” The course is scheduled to run at half speed over two periods, enabling students to attend it in parallel with their other courses.
“A special aspect of the course is that it focuses on solutions. It provides both a broad introduction and constructive ways forward to mitigate climate warming. There are a number of valid actions available, plenty of things to do,”says Örjan Gustafsson.
University of California as a model
The concept for the course comes from the University of California, USA, where the world leading climate scientist Veerabhadran “Ram” Ramanathan has been a driving force, also in terms of climate policy and climate actions.
“In California, it has been decided that the state universities should be at the forefront and become the first climate-neutral institutions. The course is part of that initiative,” says Örjan Gustafsson.
Veerabhadran Ramanathan was appointed Bert Bolin Climate Lecturer in 2018 and in May the same year he held the lecture “Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions” in Aula Magna, Stockholm University’s largest meeting and lecture hall.
“In connection with his visit, he challenged us to become the first pilot university outside the US that implements this initiative. We accepted the challenge and hope to further develop the course in cooperation with the University of California to help spread it globally,” says Örjan Gustafsson.
Claudia Egerer, Associate Professor at the Department of English and responsible for Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, emphasizes that the Climate Change Solutions course is special in that it is a interdisciplary collaboration where scientists and scholars teach seminars together, bringing a variety of perspectives to questions about climate change.
“Climate change is not just an environmental issue but very much a discursive phenomenon, and we speak about it in many different ways. As a literary scholar, narrative is my forte: I am trained to read, analyse, and write about litarary stories. I know that it is not just what you say that makes a difference, but how you say it. Again, it’s about pooling resources, adding my voice to the scientific narrative to reinforce its impact,” says Claudia Egerer.
More information about the course Climate Change Solutions (7.5 ECTS credits).