Community-led Action in a Changing Climate

Community-led Action in a Changing Climate

On campus class cancelled for 2020. Check back for our online offerings.

The climate crisis is the most pressing global issue of our time. The world’s changing climate is the biggest threat to humankind as impacts are felt through increasingly unpredictable extreme events such as droughts and floods, rising sea levels, more severe hurricanes and typhoons, and unprecedented heat waves. Those who live in small island states, across the tropics, nearer the poles, and throughout the Global South will be impacted most by climate change.

The ability to mitigate the causes and adapt to the effects of climate change is a global concern, with states, cities, companies, and civil society groups rallying around agreements made at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris. Decisions made at national and international levels about climate change undoubtedly impact on the ground realities for communities.

This course delivers the facts behind climate change, its causes and consequences, and the various – local to global – strategies devised for dealing with it. The two-week course’s primary objective is to enhance your capacity to plan — through a mix of information sessions, group activities, field trips, and collaborative hands-on training exercises — for climate changes in your home environment.

For example, we will explore:

  • the basic science of climate change;
  • the history and current state of international policies impacting climate change;
  • social inequalities that are caused by climate change;
  • how the climate crisis is, in fact, a human rights issue;
  • mitigation and adaptation;
  • how those who live in the Global South are specifically impacted by the climate crisis;
  • how community-led planning can provide security for those living with the consequences of climate change.

Personal Benefits:

By the end of this course, you can expect:

  • greater understanding of basic science of climate change;
  • deepened knowledge of international policies that have influenced climate change over the past 25 years;
  • widened comprehension of how climate changes are impacting people across the world—whether they are living in the Canadian arctic or an informal coastal community in Bangladesh;
  • understanding of how and why climate change is a human rights and a social justice issue;
  • increased awareness of strategies taken to prevent further climate change impacts; and
  • how to deal with the consequences of the climate crisis

Learning Objectives of the Course:

You will:

  • learn basic climate change science;
  • grow knowledge of international climate change policies via a comprehensive review;
  • examine how climate change impacts communities around the globe;
  • obtain comprehensive understanding of adaptation and mitigation;
  • develop analytical skills to be able to engage in climate change debates;
  • develop understanding of climate change and confidence to be able to engage in meaningful action; and
  • develop an action plan for tackling climate challenges at local levels;

Classroom Methods

The course will include a variety of participatory and experiential learning methods by which participants will share their experiences and deepen their learnings. These will include lecture presentations, small group discussions, role-plays and simulation exercises, video/written case studies, guest speakers, and skill-building exercises. Participants will benefit from visits to local field sites to engage practitioners and dialogue with stakeholders. All presentations and instructional materials will be in English.


A mix of institutional and private donors who share Coady Institute’s vision of community-based, citizen-lead change subsidize the institute’s educational programs. As possible, Coady will provide qualifying candidates with a partial bursary to assist with course fees. However, all participants will be responsible for fees payable of at least $2,300 CAD, as well as travel and other costs. Fees are payable prior to the start of the selected course. Details on fees are available at

Please note that Coady International Institute does not accept third party applications. Individuals need to submit their application via Coady’s website and should use caution when approached by those offering services to complete the application and admissions process.