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  • University of Edinburgh
  • Learning for Sustainability Scotland logo
  • British Council

Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP26

Explore global issues during COP26 and be part of the call for collective action. What on Earth could be more important?

10,509 enrolled on this course

Painted placard with globe and one world text. Glasgow COP26 in background of image.
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • Digital upgrade


Live at COP26

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) was held in Glasgow, Scotland between 31st October and 12th November 2021. It brought together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree and accelerate coordinated global action on climate change.

Be part of the action at COP26

This two-week course, which ran in parallel with the COP26 conference, offers you an opportunity to examine what COP26 is, why it’s important and reflect on how you can add your voice to the call for collective action for a sustainable future.

You’ll explore the broader context of COP26 and consider other key frameworks such as COP15 (The UN Convention on Biological Diversity) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Throughout the course, we will share insights into the issues discussed at COP26, and responses to the conference themes from children and young people, community groups and ministerial bodies. Using these ‘starting points’, we will invite you to reflect on what you have heard, watched and read and think about what these conversations and issues mean to you. We will provide opportunities for discussion and reflection and will share ideas and inspiration to help us all take our next steps beyond the Conference.

Join us and collaborate for a sustainable future

There has never been a more urgent need for the world to work together and take collaborative action to secure a sustainable future for people and planet.

Join us and become part of our shared learning community, where everyone, course team included, is encouraged to reflect, share and learn with and from one another during COP26.

Learners interested in our COP27 course can enrol now starting 7 Nov. Go to ‘When would you like to start?’ to enrol.

You may also be interested in our 5-week Learning for a Sustainable Future course.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second What on Earth could be more important than understanding and tackling the big issues that shape our world? Climate change, gender equality, health, social equity, and inclusion affect us all. The United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference takes place in Glasgow over two weeks in November. Our free online course, Learning for a Sustainable Future, will run live during that time to bring you news, events, and some of the activities that will be happening as the conference unfolds. We’re keen to share some of the creative and educational responses being developed by local communities and schools, as well as bring some of the high-level international political discussions and outputs to you as they happen.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds Join us live during the conference and learn how to develop an informed personal response to these global issues.

What topics will you cover?

  • COP26: Setting the Scene.
  • Sharing Thinking.
  • Working Collaboratively.
  • Moving to Action.
  • Futures Thinking.

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...

  • Investigate the broader context of COP26 and consider other associated frameworks such as COP15 (The UN Convention on Biological Diversity) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Consider local, national, and global perspectives on COP26 through a range of responses to the core themes of the Conference.
  • Reflect on the work of educators and communities in Scotland who have been engaged in 'COP26 focused' activities.
  • Explore a range of artistic and creative responses that offer engaging and alternative ways into the complex themes of COP26.
  • Share ideas and inspiration as to how individuals, communities and organisations can take collaborative action for a sustainable future.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in sustainability – and that should be all of us!

You may find the course particularly useful if you are involved in education at any level.

Who will you learn with?

Peter is Professor of Outdoor, Environmental & Sustainability Education at Edinburgh University, Director Learning for Sustainability Scotland, and Trustee of several national environmental charities.

Betsy King is the Development Manager at Learning for Sustainability Scotland, Scotland's UN University- recognised Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development.

Beth is a Senior Lecturer in Learning for Sustainability and Programme Director for the MSc Learning for Sustainability at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh.

Kirsten is a project manager with Learning for Sustainability Scotland. She has a background in secondary education and has worked on sustainability-related initiatives for over fifteen years.

Who developed the course?

The University of Edinburgh

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and is globally recognised for research, innovation and high-quality teaching.

Learning for Sustainability Scotland

Learning for Sustainability Scotland is Scotland’s Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development – acknowledged by the United Nations University.

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

What's included?

The University of Edinburgh are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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