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Online course

Climate Justice: Lessons from the Global South

Understand how we can balance human needs with caring for the planet with this free online course about climate change.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Climate Justice: Lessons from the Global South

Why join the course?

Climate change is a global problem we all must face. This course will deal with some of the key issues related to the ethical dimensions implied by climate change – learning especially from the problems faced as well as the resilience models formulated by the marginalized sectors of society or the so-called “Global South”.

Understand the environmental problems and proposed solutions by the Global South

Although the populations of the Global South have least contributed to the greenhouse gas emissions that have exacerbated the negative effects of climate change, they are also the ones who are most vulnerable to extreme weather conditions such as droughts, floods, typhoons, sea-level rise and desertification. Needless to say, these phenomena have profound social implications that may harm future generations.

This situation raises some major ethical questions:

  • To what extent are human beings entitled to exploit nature for their needs and interests?
  • What kind of shared responsibility is appropriate in addressing climate change?
  • How can we respond to the adverse effects of climate change being experienced by the peoples of the Global South?

The effects of climate change disasters, however, are not only confined to the global south but are also felt by the more affluent sectors of societies or the Global North.

In order to achieve a more sustainable world where nature can continue to support the aspirations for better living conditions for future and disadvantaged generations, a notion of justice that balances the ecological integrity of nature and the human beings’ rights to live and enjoy the fruits of their labor must be formulated.

Learn about climate justice

Following the recommendation of UNESCO’s World Commission for the Ethics of Science and Technology (COMEST) in the promotion of Biological and Cultural Diversity as starting point of Climate Change Ethics, UNESCO is currently pioneering a worldwide reflection on the ‘ethical principles in relation to climate change’. Along the same line, within its philosophy programme, in 2014 UNESCO published the “Manual of Philosophy – A South-South Perspective”. This Manual sheds a new light on the singularity of some major philosophical texts and traditions from the Global South.

This course has been built upon these two major undertakings. It will propose a notion of climate justice that balances the ecological integrity of nature, on the one hand, while supporting the biological and economic needs of human populations, on the other hand. Human needs and ecological integrity, therefore, need not be opposing but more supportive of one another in so far as human beings allow nature to regenerate herself by regulating their excessive consumption of natural resources.

The course proposes groundbreaking reflections on Climate Justice, within the contexts of Biological and Cultural Diversity and the Precautionary Principle, while exploring the Global South’s approaches.

Explore how humans can balance their needs with the needs of the planet

At the end of the course, you’ll learn about the various practices of frugality in the global south and enable you to adapt these practices to your own circumstances in view of contributing to the needs of the most vulnerable populations of society.

You will also be able to imagine different ways of extracting natural resources without compromising the regenerating capacity of nature to sustain herself and thus continuously support the needs of all human beings.

When would you like to start?

  • 2017
  • Date to be announced

Who is the course for?

There are no special requirements for this course, but an interest in climate change and global justice might be useful.

Who will you learn with?

Rainier Ibana

This picture was taken during the COP 21 in Paris when we presented COMEST's "Ethical Principles of Climate Change". I teach Philosophy and Environmental Ethics at Ateneo de Manila University.

Who developed the course?

The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) is an advisory body and forum of reflection that was set up by UNESCO in 1998.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £24.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.