Centre for Alternative Technology

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Environmental Politics and Economics

  • Mon 11th - Sat 16th Dec 2017.
    Course starts at 6pm and ends at 2pm on the last day.
    Course fee including full board accommodation:
    Waged £700, Low Waged / Concessions £625.

  • Dates, Times & Fees

Course details

Political ideas and the economies on which our modern world is based underpin our societies and the way in which we, as citizens, respond to global environmental issues. Economic growth, combined with the power of consumerism are driving an ever growing hunger to consume more and more resources, and to threaten the ability of our planet’s life support systems to provide even those resources traditionally seen as being renewable. Political ideology has presented us with opposing views on how we might share out the world’s resources and while, in the past, political ideas and our economic systems have failed to account for the value of the natural world, there is a new breed of political thought which might pave the way for a more ethical, equitable and sustainable society.

This course joins the Environmental Politics and Economics module of CAT’s MSc in Sustainability and Adaptation.

It explores in detail the solutions put forward by environmentalists to seek to achieve change at local, national and international level and considers different perspectives on the potential for change within the current political and economic systems.

The course consists of a series of lectures, seminars, participatory workshops and world cafe sessions covering topics that include:

* The international politics of climate change
* Reflections on 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 in Paris
* Environmental Ethics
* Localism, grassroots environmentalism and climate activism
* Climate change migration and migration as adaptation
* A critique of neo-classical economics
* Alternative economics
* Ecological modernisation
* Ecosystem services and economics
* Communicating sustainability
* Consensus-decision making
* Carbon Budget Accounting Tool
* Behaviour change and the environment.

The course is suitable for anyone with an interest in the politics and economics of sustainability.
This includes those working in fields such as architecture and building who want a greater understanding of the political and economic constraints under which they are working and how these may be addressed.
Equally, it includes people working in local government, the third sector and others operating in politics or public service who wish to explore how they can make a contribution to sustainability in their professional or personal lives.

Some testimonials:-

“This module was not only fascinating but really made you question the fundamentals of the way we function as a society and how and why it needs to change. But this is also an empowering module: it had such an effect on me that I now work in climate change policy, something I'd never considered before!”

“A well-structured course, which gives food for thought on how economic and political systems impacts our society. There has also been ample opportunity to openly discuss aspects and practicalities of existing vs. alternative approaches.”

“For me, with no background in these subject areas, I found the introduction of political, economic and social theories and history very informative. These were juxtaposed against some of the current and proposed models for changing behaviours, green economies and politics that aim to mitigate against and adapt to climate change. The local and global scales of both the challenges and the opportunities for change become evident.”

The module is led by Dr Lucy Jones, one of CAT’s senior lecturers. Lucy's PhD from the University of Sheffield focussed on the making of eco-housing and how that shapes and is shaped by the values and identities of both architects, planners, local communities and inhabitants. As well as managing the entire module, she will provide the lecture on Environmental Ethics and host the World Cafe sessions.

A number of guest lecturers contribute to the course, from a range of academic and campaigning backgrounds.

They include:

Paul Allen, CAT’s External Relations Officer, leading researcher on the Zero Carbon Britain programme and Climate Change Commissioner for Wales.

Nick Mabey, Chief Executive and a founder director of E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism) a non-profit European organisation dedicated to accelerating the transition to sustainable development. Previously he was Head of Economics and Development at WWF-UK.

Dr Peter North, Reader in Alternative Economics at the University of Liverpool and expert in localism and climate activism.

Beth Stratford, a PhD student at the University of Roehampton and sustainable finance consultant for Friends of the Earth.

Alex Randall from the Climate Outreach and Information Network, who has published work on the psychology of environmental behaviour and has been a delegate to international climate change negotiations.

Things you need to know


You must be over the age of 18 years when this course starts.

Booking, Fees and Cancellation policy

To book a place on a course, please choose one of the following options:

• Book Online- the “Book online” button is either below, or in the top right corner of the screen and follow the instructions.

• Call the Courses Department on 01654 704 966 with your bank card details.

Please note: a £100 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place.

The balance of the course fee is due 28 days before the start of the course.

Our course fees include full board accommodation, tuition and materials, unless otherwise stated.

Please also note our Cancellation & Refund Policy
a) The £100 deposit and 1 day course fees are non-refundable.
b) For courses of 2 days or more when you give us this notice of cancellation:
• 28 days or more – refund minus your £100 deposit.
• 8 to 27 days notice – refund minus your £100 deposit for sales of £200 or under. On sales over £200 - 50% refund.
• 7 days notice or under – no refund.
c) CAT reserves the right to cancel any courses. Deposits and fees will be returned in full should this happen.

Course Fees.

Start Date

Book Now!

Email courses@cat.org.uk
or phone 01654 704 966

There are places still available.

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