Exploring the environmental injustice of climate change: An international debate teaching exercise
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Mar 20, 2013
In this debate students will do research on an assigned country to understand the impacts of climate change on the country, the current climate change policies that have been adopted by the assigned country and overall view of the country's obligation by the international community to addressing climate change. Each student will then have use environmental justice and climate justice principles to develop an argument to support the assigned country's position on climate change.
1. Understand the power dynamics that are involved in international decision-making associated with climate change
2. Understand how environmental justice concepts can be used to explain the inequalities that are created with climate change
3. Understand the details regarding climate change policies for specific countries
4. Develop critical thinking skills in applying environmental justice concepts to support the actual stance that countries have taken with respect to climate change
5. Be able to articulate an argument about environmental justice and climate change for a specified country to their peers
6. Be able to use environmental justice to propose solutions for addressing climate change
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Teaching Notes and Tips
If part of the class participation grade, each student is assessed on the quality of their participation toward the debate, based on their individual contributions. I usually assign 5% of the class participation grade to this assignment.
If a formal assignment, then students would be required to submit a written opening statement as well as the main talking points that they used in the debate to state their position, using environmental justice concepts to support their position. This assignment can be worth 5-10% of the student's overall grade. An additional component of this assignment, if formalized can be a reflective essay whereby students are encouraged to critically reflect on the debates presented.