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Climate Crisis

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we only have a decade left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change. Scientific insights about the relationship between the burning of fossil fuels and global warming are already available for more than a century.

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What explains our failure to act? One major challenge in the present climate crisis is that it requires input from different scientific disciplines. Therefore, in order to fully understand the case, we need to incorporate knowledge from several fields of expertise. How has climate science evolved? What do we know about the impacts on human society and ecosystems? What are our options to deal with climate change? Should we mitigate, adapt or geo-engineer the climate? How can we act as individuals? Perhaps going vegan? What does economics tell us about the costs of climate policy and the most efficient policy instruments? What does psychology teach us about why we fail to act? How does philosophy look at our moral duties towards future generations? What is the politics of international climate negotiations? All these topics will be discussed in the interdisciplinary course Climate Crisis.


Prof. dr. Marc Davidson

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student is able to:

  • Show insight in the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of the climate debate.
  • Reproduce the core insights from the various scientific disciplines in relation to the issue of climate change.
  • Describe the practical hurdles to effective climate policy.
  • Reflect on one’s own thoughts and acts in relation to climate change.

Teaching format

  • Lectures
  • Self-study


  • Online assignments.
  • Class test at the end of the module (with open and MC questions about the lectures).

Entry requirements

Open to second and third year bachelor students.

Study material

Articles made available through Canvas.


You can find the timetable on Datanose.

Number of participants



This course is open for UvA students and other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions. You can register from 3 December until a week before the start of the course. 

Registration UvA students (look for code: 5512CLCR6Y).

Registration other interested parties

High school students​

High school students are also welcome, see here for more information. 

If you have any trouble while registering please contact: Keuzeonderwijs-iis@uva.nl 


Check the website

Climate Crisis
Vorm Kortlopend, kortlopend
Studielast 6 EC,
Voertaal Engels
Start Februari