Danish university to train climate change graduates

Denmark has positioned itself among the first in Europe to offer comprehensive interdisciplinary graduate training in climate change. ‘Climate Change, Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation’ is the name of a new 2-year interdisciplinary MSc programme at Copenhagen University that combines both natural and social sciences.

Instruction is in English, and there is space for 60 international students when the first class begins in September 2013. Deadline for applications is… today, 1 April 2013.

Two students and Head of Studies Kjeld Rasmussen talk about the MSc programme which will contain a mix of science, anthropology, economics and social studies.

“University of Copenhagen launches an entirely new international climate change programme that will qualify students to address climate issues from the frozen Arctic in the north to tropical Bangladesh further south. Unique about the Climate Change programme is that it will formally abandon typical disciplinary boundaries between the natural and social sciences. It will teach students to tackle interdisciplinary complexities. This means that up-and-coming graduates will have been trained in, among other things, geophysics, geography, social-economic affairs and security policy. In this way, graduates will be trained to operate and work among a broad range of issues while still being attuned to local conditions, whether abroad or in a Danish municipality,” the university explains on its homepage.

Although the climate candidate programme is offered in Copenhagen, the university wants to make it an international programme with students from around the world:

“Now that climate change is everywhere, it is important that we get as many eyes on the issue as possible. A Danish student can learn something from an African, and vice versa. Climate change is universal,” Niels Elers Koch, head of the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, was quoted as saying.

“It is important to have trained graduates in climate changes that can help address the challenges of climate change,” he said.

Humanity has known about the global warming and climate change problems in decades, so — why are there so few universities around the world — at least as far as I can tell from using Google search — who offer this kind of courses?

Hopefully the Copenhagen initiative can be an inspiration to other universities, with the possibility to quickly cultivate a global network of ‘climate change scholars’ — students and graduates in climate change.

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Read more about the course on Copenhagen University: science.ku.dk/english

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Information about the Copenhagen University programme: MSc in Climate Change, Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation

Other climate change courses
Copenhagen University are not the first to do it, even though the Danish media were quick to announce this. Several UK universities have had climate change related postgraduate courses for some years now, and so has University of New South Wales in Australia.

For instance, The University of East Anglia has been offering an MSc in Climate Change for more than 15 years. The course duration is one year, and the MSc in Climate Change “is designed to provide you with in-depth interdisciplinary knowledge of climate change science, society and policy. The course content equips our graduates for careers in areas as diverse as government agencies, business consultancies and academia.”
| See more about this course on: uea.ac.uk 
Download: Brochure (PDF)

You can also learn sustainably at University of New South Wales in Autralia. “Whatever your goals and dreams, becoming a climate change scientist, clean-tech entrepreneur, or environmental campaigner, UNSW can help you reach them,” the university writes about its “undergraduate and postgraduate gateway to environmental courses and research”.
| See more about this course on: environment.unsw.edu.au and sustainability.unsw.edu.au

University of Melbourne also have courses in Climate Change. This course develops an interdisciplinary understanding of the social, political, economic and scientific perspectives on climate change.


News stories about the Copenhagen University course in Danish language

Politiken / Reuters – 31. marts 2013:
KU udbyder uddannelse om klimaforandringer
Danmark bliver det første land i Europa til at uddanne kandidater i klimaforandringer.

DR / Ritzau – 31. marts 2013:
Klimaforandring kommer på skoleskemaet i Danmark

Tobias Feld, MSc student, Copenhagen University. Photo: from youtube-video.

How can we build a carbon neutral world economy?

The former President of Maldives gave a talk on ‘How can we build a carbon neutral world economy?’ at University of Copenhagen on 16 April 2013

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed outlined the dangers climate change poses to his low-lying island nation, which stands just 1.5 meters above sea level.

Nasheed explained that the world can choose to defeat climate change by building a carbon neutral global economy. He set out the opportunities clean technologies can bring, and discussed how we can overcome the fossil fuel interests trying to prevent progress.

This video clip is from another speech he gave at the same university earlier on the same day. From 45:50 to 49:45 he answers a question from the audience about climate change.

Mohamed Nasheed served as the Maldives’ first democratically elected president and is a respected international campaigner on climate change.

In 2009, Nasheed famously held a cabinet meeting underwater to highlight the dangers rising sea levels pose to his low-lying nation. He also announced plans to turn his country into the world’s first carbon neutral nation, by 2020.

Nasheed has received several awards including the Anna Lindh Prize in recognition of his work promoting human rights, democracy and environmental protection, and the United Nations ‘Champions of the Earth’ environment award.

In 2012, Nasheed was awarded the James Lawson Award for Achievement in the Practice of Nonviolent Action.

Copenhagen Sustainability Lectures aims to create attention and visibility of the challenges of global sustainability. Danish and foreign speakers visit University of Copenhagen to focus on a broad array of topics concerned with sustainability, pass on their experiences, and give their opinions on how to approach the challenges we are facing now and in the future

The lecture took place on 16 April from 2pm to 3pm at Auditorium A2.70.04, Faculty of Science, Thorvaldsensvej 40, bygning 2-701871, Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark

Flyer in PDF

Web page: sustainability.ku.dk/sustainability-lectures/next