Teaching and Learning from Environmental Summits: COP-21 and Beyond

Selin, N.E.
Global Environmental Politics , Vol. 16, No. 3, Pages: 31-40

High-profile environmental summits like the recent Paris climate conference (COP 21) offer an opportunity to incorporate real-world, timely issues into teaching and learning about global environmental governance. Using COP 21 as an example, this Forum article summarizes the ways that contemporary environmental summits can be incorporated into university-level education, providing content and context to help address the challenges of interdisciplinary sustainability education. Faculty members have incorporated COP-21-related content in ways ranging from traditional lectures and discussions to field trips, which have contributed to a broad range of course content and learning goals. However, the challenges of including environmental summits in educational settings include knowledge-based, normative, and structural barriers. While environmental summits can be an effective way to incorporate knowledge of global environmental governance into interdisciplinary education, more resources, experimentation, and extensions beyond climate change are needed.