• University of Glasgow

Introduction to Climate Justice and Equity

Learn how climate equity and justice can help the most vulnerable people address the effects of climate change.

630 enrolled on this course

Two people working in a greehouse

Introduction to Climate Justice and Equity

630 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Define climate equity and its effect on vulnerable populations

One of the biggest injustices resulting from climate change is inequity, with those least responsible for the current climate emergency often suffering most.

On this four-week course from the University of Glasgow, you’ll examine the concept of climate equity. You’ll learn how climate justice seeks to address this imbalance and what steps can be taken to work towards a sustainable future for all.

Discover the need for climate reparations and disasters funds

Those most affected by climate change are often least likely to have the funds to introduce sustainable measures.

You’ll consider different approaches to helping the Global South tackle climate change, from debt cancellation, equitable finance, and climate compensation.

Reflecting on who is responsible for driving climate equity and how climate reparations can be advanced, you’ll gain a deeper knowledge of the global, political, and economical factors impacting climate justice.

Analyse the shortfalls of current government climate pledges

Using real case studies, you’ll analyse how international level targets and national initiatives fall short of keeping global warming from reaching dangerous levels.

You’ll examine government pledges in the context of your own country and those of your fellow learners, allowing you to assess the level of commitment towards fighting climate disaster.

Examine key climate justice issues affecting sustainable development

You’ll explore key concepts including conflict and climate, energy, education, and sustainable farming and their impact on helping deliver climate justice around the world.

You’ll finish this course with a thorough understanding of climate equity and why immediate climate action must be taken to protect the future of the environment and the most vulnerable populations.


  • Week 1

    Climate justice and equity

    • Course introduction

      Welcome to the course from Ben Murphy

    • Climate justice

      In this activity we will look at the history of climate justice, including the environmental justice campaign and introduce intersectionality and the just transition.

    • Decolonising climate change

      Western economies contribute more than 90 percent of the excess emissions that are driving climate change. Meanwhile, the impacts fall hardest on the countries of the Global South, leading to calls for decolonial climate action.

  • Week 2

    Why are climate reparations and disaster funds needed urgently?

    • Week 2 intro

      A quick check in and hello from Ben. This video gives an overview of the content covered in week 2

    • What are Climate Reparations?

      Climate reparations are one way of rectifying climate injustices. They offer a tangible and equitable solution to the problems faced by countries in the Global South, giving us a way of reimagining finance.

    • Historical responsibility

      Historical responsibility for climate change is at the heart of debates over climate justice. History matters because the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted since the start of the industrial revolution is unjust.

    • The case for climate finance

      In this activity we will analyse the financial aspect of mitigation and adaptation. We wiIl identify the complex trade-offs that need to be considered for development, and integrate justice and equity into finance issues.

  • Week 3

    Where are there shortfalls in current pledges by national governments?

    • Government pledges and (in)action

      The Glasgow Climate Pact called on all countries to revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their NDCs by the end of 2022, to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal.

    • Net-zero & greenwashing

      More than 70 countries, including the biggest polluters – China, the United States, and the European Union – have set a net-zero target, covering about 76% of global emissions. However, net-zero doesn't guarantee equity.

    • Alternative futures

      In this section of week three we look at the importance of cultural diversity in tackling climate change, and the possibilities of a 'degrowth agenda'.

  • Week 4

    What are the key equity and climate justice issues in sustainable Development

    • Peace, justice, conflict and climate change

      In this activity we'll look at the connection between conflict and climate change and understand how the two issues are interconnected.

    • Sustainable Farming

      Agriculture has a positive and important role to play in climate change mitigation: the crops, hedgerows, and trees found on farmland sequester carbon from the atmosphere, while properly managed soils provide carbon storage.

    • Energy

      The climate crisis combines with an energy crisis that leaves 1.1 billion people without access to electricity. This same energy crisis forces an unsustainable energy model on communities who need access to safe and clean energy.

    • Course conclusion

      Well done! You have completed this 'Introduction to Climate justice and Equity'. In this final activity we conclude the course and signpost future steps for you to take in continuing your climate justice journey.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify how climate change is impacting vulnerable populations globally
  • Assess the level of commitment needed to keep climate change from breaching dangerous levels in the context of environmental and social justice
  • Evaluate complex trade-offs that need to be considered for developing nations to prosper

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for a range of learners including business owners, policymakers, consultants, NGO managers, teachers, activists, and charities, who want to understand the importance of taking immediate climate action.

Who will you learn with?

Ben is the education officer for the Centre of Sustainable Solutions at the University of Glasgow. Ben works in climate change education and climate justice, both in teaching and research.

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 21 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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