The course aims at understanding the impact of climate change on the global environment and on human activity. Climate change increases risks to livelihoods and may endanger the security of individuals and groups. This in turn could increase the propensity for conflict within and between states and generate the displacement of people due to environmental stress and conflict.

Components of the course will include a critical examination of the drivers of climate change, in particular those induced by human activity. In addition, international efforts to limit the magnitude of climate changes—including those concluded in Kyoto and Cancun—will be reviewed. Consequences of climate change for human health, for economic activity, for resource use and resource availability will also be examined, as will be the options for adapting to climate change.