Welcome to the course


Every day environmental issues grow in importance and complexity. Global warming has emerged as the major threat to the world around us as carbon dioxide emissions and severe weather incidents increase. “The effort to slow climate change requires bold action,” President Barack Obama says. Yet, widespread consensus that climate change is taking place is only just now producing agreement on steps to mitigate global warming.

In December 2015, negotiators from almost 200 countries approved a climate agreement to limit the growth of greenhouse gasses and slow global warming. This accord was reached in Paris at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21). The deal pledges that nations will strive to curb carbon dioxide emissions in order to hold the temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius and strengthen the capacity to deal with the impacts of climate change. Emory University is one of a small number of campuses granted observer status at the UN negotiations. For the first time last month, the university sent a delegation of 11 students and faculty to observe and participate in the Paris events.

This course builds upon this new agreement and initiative and presents opportunities for you to write in various genres about the interdisciplinary facets of climate change: science, political, economic, business, social and cultural. Your work will explore aspects of the problem and ways to lessen the impact of global warming for the present and the future.