WSG-51306 Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies for Society


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work6
Excursion (one day)16
Course coordinator(s)M del Pozo Garcia
Lecturer(s)dr. K Kok
dr. SE Werners
dr. S Paparrizos
T Gbangou
U Kumar
E Nyadzi
Examiner(s)dr. SE Werners

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

This course is the opening course for the BSc Minor ‘Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Society’. General understanding of environmental problems and sustainability, achieved in introductory WU BSc courses, such as WRM-12309 Orientation on International Land and Water Management, ENP 11303 Sustainable Solutions to Environmental Problems, YSS-10906 Analysis of a Problem Situation or CPT-14306 Life Sciences for Communication Scientists.

Continuation courses:

ESA-20506 Environmental Systems Analysis: Methods and Applications Introduction to environmental; MAQ-23306 System Earth: Scale Dependence, Feedbacks and Global Change; ENP-23806 Sustainability Transitions: Concepts, Issues and Indicators; SLM-51306 Adaptation to Climate Change


This course is designed as introduction to the Bsc Minor ‘Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Society’. The course starts from the premise that climate change calls for new approaches to sustainable development that take into account complex interactions between climate and social and ecological systems. The need to advance mitigation and adaptation is now more urgent than ever before; moreover, integrating the two streams of action in research and practice via what we call “climate-resilient development pathways” is potentially more efficient and effective than the current, largely siloed approach to adaptation and mitigation.

Adaptation, mitigation and resilience are important components for achieving the overarching goals of the Paris Agreement, including promoting sustainable development. Even if all countries were to immediately enact the most ambitious mitigation efforts possible, the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would still cause the impacts of climate change to worsen for some time, putting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities under threat.

So whilst the mitigation targets are critically important, strengthening the capacity of societies to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change is necessary to ensure a sustainable transition towards a net-zero emission society as early as possible. This course focusses on experiences, actions and approaches that address both adaption and mitigation, and promote long-term climate resilience.

The first half of the course introduces 1) scenario development to explore the challenges ahead, 2) nature based solutions for adaptation and mitigation, 3) climate information services to facilitate decision making in the context of climate change, and 4) climate resilient development pathways. These topics will be taught by using different research methodologies (systematic literature review, co-production, discourse analysis). After the topics have been introduced, students make a choice between them to elaborate their own project in the second half of the course. The course closes with a demonstration and exhibition of projects.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- demonstrate basic understanding of climate change and how it is currently dealt with;
- combine climate change and development challenges in comprehensive future scenarios;
- contribute to the development of nature based solutions for adaptation and mitigation;
- demonstrate awareness of the effects that climate change, and (trade-offs between) measures to mitigate or adapt to it, may have on the well-being of peoples;
- reflect on and use different methodological approaches to study climate change issues (in particular: systematic literature review, co-production, scenario development and discourse analysis);
- formulate their own project and defend it in public;
- make a well informed choice about the courses to follow as part of the minor.


- lectures;
- literature review;
- online assignments;
- formulation and design of a project;
- presenting the project in public;
- excursion (one day).


- written examination (40%, but at least >5.5);
- presentation (40%, but at least >5.5);
- attendance, responding to the online assignments and input to the discussions (20%).


Articles and book chapters to be made available at the start of the course.

Compulsory for: WUCLCBSc Minor Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation1MO