The quest to significantly decrease the use of fossil fuels spurred by concerns over energy security, high prices, and the socioeconomic repercussions of climate change is now underway across the globe. The world economic crisis and the need for governments to foster new economic growth in order to create jobs is prompting the development and use of green technologies. At the same time, however, this is creating new global competition for limited resources, such as rare earths, and the race to become a leader in green tech innovation is giving rise to a series of new global political and economic realities, tensions and disputes.
Against this backdrop the European Union has forged a clear path to renewed economic growth in a low carbon era, investing in RES, setting clear targets and creating green jobs. The United States by contrast is hesitating and in fact sustainability and a path to green growth are under fierce attack domestically.
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the global transition to low carbon economies already underway, to better understand the technologies, the disputes, the players in the green growth race and their competition as it develops. It also aims at giving them a better understanding of sustainability in action and to help work on the rhetorical arguments needed to explain and defend the transition to ecological sustainability in a globalized world.
This course forms part of the IES Abroad Independent Research Program. It can be combined with the RE 499 Online Research Methods Seminar for an additional 1-credit.