Upskill Yourself: 20 FREE Online Courses on Climate Change

Inspired from: Sophia Kianni

Unlock a sustainable future through climate education! Gain the knowledge and tools with these courses to make a positive impact on our planet.

Explore the intricate web of climate change, delve into renewable energy solutions, and become an advocate for a greener tomorrow. Empower yourself with the understanding and skills needed to create a sustainable and resilient world.

Let’s join forces and educate ourselves on the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. Together, we can shape a brighter future for generations to come. Start your climate education journey today with these 20 exciting courses!

Inclusive Growth: Climate Change

By International Monetary Fund: This course addresses the nature of climate change and its role as a major threat to the sustainability and inclusiveness of our societies. It examines climate change and how it impacts our lives and introduces policies to help counter its effects. These policy recommendations and solutions include mitigation efforts, adaptation to inevitable changes that will occur (even with mitigation), and how to make these reforms inclusive.

Environmental SDG Indicators

By United Nations Environment Programme: This course provides an overview of the importance of monitoring the environmental dimension of development, the linkage with existing statistical frameworks and how to use environment statistics in decision making. It also provides a brief overview of all 25 SDG indicators under UNEP custodianship.

Transforming dryland forests and agrosilvopastoral systems

By Food and Agriculture Organization: This course seeks to build the competencies needed for program and project managers, field practitioners and policy makers to apply a transformational sustainability approach to decision-making in the management of dryland forests and agrosilvopastoral production systems.

Transforming Our World: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

By SDG Academy: In this course, learn all about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This course is for:
1. Anyone new to the concept of the Sustainable Development Goals who wants to understand what they are, why they’re important and how to achieve them
2. Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students interested in the key concepts and practices of sustainability
3. Policymakers and sustainable development practitioners looking for a concise overview of the goals and their targets
4. Private-sector actors, such as those who work in corporate sustainability and responsibility or at universities – who want their work to be more sustainable and align with global progress.

Sustainable Lifestyles

By United Nations System Staff College: This course explores Sustainable Lifestyles in the context of the 2030 Agenda, advancing the understanding of how our lifestyle choices impact the world around us and how we can find ways for everyone to live better and with a lighter impact.  The course will explore what sustainable lifestyles are, the values and beliefs that influence our choices, and the strategies that we could apply to create positive and long-lasting change towards sustainability in our systems and our lives.   

Macroeconomics of Climate Change: Science, Economics, and Policies

By International Monetary Fund: This online course, presented by the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development, Fiscal Affairs Department, Research Department, and Strategy, Policy, and Review Department serves as the first module of a broader Macroeconomics of Climate Change (MCCx) course. In this modular offering, you will learn about the science and economics behind climate change, the framework for global climate action, and how the IMF engages on climate change issues.

Sustainable Cities

By SDG Academy: You will learn about the major challenges currently faced by urban areas around the world – including poverty, unemployment, poor housing infrastructure, and constraints on productivity – and the extraordinary potential of these areas to enable change in the future. From infrastructure to culture to economic opportunity, learn how harnessing the power of urban development for global progress is imperative. This course examines how urban sustainability can be delivered with increasing productivity and reduced inequality; provision of universal basic services and infrastructure; protection of the urban environments; and other solutions and investments, both speculative and in action around the world.

Mainstreaming GESI for transboundary water resource management

By UNESCO: This course aims to teach participants to identify and understand key concepts of Gender, Equality, and Social Inclusion (GESI), and to identify approaches for mainstreaming GESI into their institutions, programs, or projects. Targeting professionals working in transboundary natural resource governance, with an emphasis on water resource management, this course will help participants articulate how to contribute to GESI mainstreaming within water resource management activities and projects, to achieve a common goal of effective, sustainable, and inclusive water resource management that ‘leaves no-one behind’.

Management of the Chemical Risk in the Agricultural Sector

By International Labour Organisation: Risk management associated with the use of chemical substances in the workplace has gained great relevance from international and national regulations and from the interest of people and companies for protection against the potential effects of chemical substances. For this reason, the ILO with the cooperation of the European Union has developed this virtual course that will provide tools to manage these risks in the workplace.

The SDG Primer

By United Nations System Staff College: The SDG Primer aims to establish a common base of understanding and approach for the UN system in supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is meant to inform the programmes and actions of all UN entities, including their engagement with government and civil society partners. This programme is for all the stakeholders interested to learn about the approach for the UN system in supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change

By University of Chicago: This class describes the science of global warming and the forecast for humans’ impact on Earth’s climate. Intended for an audience without much scientific background but a healthy sense of curiosity, the class brings together insights and perspectives from physics, chemistry, biology, earth and atmospheric sciences, and even some economics—all based on a foundation of simple mathematics (algebra).

Environmental and Natural Resources Economics

By DoaneX: Within economics, environmental and natural resource economics is the application of the principles of economics to the study of how environmental and natural resources are developed and managed. It focuses on weighing the private and public implications of choices that we make ranging from a local through a global scale. Learners will apply economic tools to evaluate the allocation and utilization of natural resources and the management of the natural environment within agriculture.

Sustainable Energy

By Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Climate change is an urgent global challenge demanding engineering solutions and large-scale, systems-oriented coordination. In Sustainable Energy, you’ll join thousands of global learners in examining conventional and renewable energy generation technologies, studying how they are deployed throughout the world, and evaluating their roles in the future energy landscape. Technologies include solar power, wind power, storage, nuclear power, hydropower, and bioenergy.

New Models of Business in Society

By University of Virginia: In this course, developed at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and taught by top-ranked faculty, we will be discussing the emergence of a new story about business. This new story locates business within a societal framework. Almost every business creates or destroys value for customers, suppliers, employees, communities and society, in addition to shareholders and other financiers. A number of new models of business can be built on this idea such as corporate responsibility, philanthropy, shared value and sustainability. Profits and stakeholder value go together, and this course explains how. The final session explores the idea of how to become a stakeholder entrepreneur and create a business that makes money and makes the world a better place.

Energy Within Environmental Constraints

By Harvard Business School: This course is rich in details of real devices and light on theory. You won’t find any electrodynamics here, but you will find enough about modern commercial solar panels to estimate if they would be profitable to install in a given location. We emphasize costs: the cascade of capital and operating costs from energy extraction all the way through end uses. This course is intended for a diverse audience. Whether you are a student, an activist, a policymaker, a business owner, or a concerned citizen, this course will help you start to think carefully about our current energy system and how we can improve its environmental performance.

Atmosphere, Ocean And Climate Dynamics

By Massachusetts Institute of Technology: This undergraduate class is designed to introduce students to the physics that govern the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere. The focus of the course is on the processes that control the climate of the planet.

Social Entrepreneurship

By The Wharton School: How do we create innovative and effective solutions to social problems around the world ? This course was designed for individuals and organizations who want to identify and bring about transformative societal change. Professors Jim Thompson and Ian “Mac” MacMillan help you develop both a strategy and a framework for your social enterprise based on their years of experience and expertise teaching social entrepreneurship and advising entrepreneurs. You’ll learn how to define a social problem, understand contextual realities, develop a solution, and plan for effective deployment. By the end of this course, you’ll have a deep understanding of the realities of launching an enterprise, be prepared for every step of the process, and put your social entrepreneurial venture on the path to success.

The Health Effects of Climate Change

By Harvard Business School: Created with support from the Harvard Global Health Institute, this course will explain how climate change impacts people around the globe, but also how it directly affects you and your life. Though your risk rises with the rising global temperatures, climate change is a solvable problem, and there are things you can do to mitigate that risk. This course is not an elegy for the planet, but a call to action.

Geospatial and Environmental Analysis

By University of California, Davis: Apply your GIS knowledge in this course on geospatial analysis, focusing on analysis tools, 3D data, working with rasters, projections, and environment variables. Through all four weeks of this course, we’ll work through a project together – something unique to this course – from project conception, through data retrieval, initial data management and processing, and finally to our analysis products.

More on Change and Sustainability

By University of Colorado: This is Class 2 of the MOOC Specialization, Become a Sustainable Business Change Agent. In this class you will learn more change agent skills and hear from people who have made changes in their organizations. You will also learn more about green design and sustainability reporting. The skills from this class will help improve products and services in your company or help the company issue its first, or an improved sustainability report.

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