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Democracy and the Environment

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Enrolled: 43 students
Duration: 10 hours
Lectures: 16
Video: 6 hours

More than ever, we see the interdependence of our physical and our political worlds. On a planet in crisis, does democracy have what it takes to save the environment? Societies have been tested by an extreme and unexpected global challenge in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, while environmental damage and climate change loom as an ever-growing threat. The poisoning of land and pollution in the air and water is killing plants, animals and humans alike. Rising temperatures and sea levels are on course to render lands uninhabitable and force people to leave their homes and seek new lives. The time to act is now! Yet recent polling indicates the highest ever recorded levels of dissatisfaction and mistrust with democracy as a system of government. Its response to a whole series of recent challenges – economic, pandemic, and indeed environmental – have disappointed millions of people. Many are questioning the capacity, competence and even legitimacy of democratic governance to address their greatest needs.

About the Course

This Course explores the challenges that arise because of the management of environmental damage and climate change.

The Course modules – presentations and discussions – involve a range of excellent, globally recognized speakers, including high profile politicians, researchers and experts: Michael Bloss, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/ EFA, Brussels; Petros Kokkalis, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left, Brussels; Moses Elisaf, Mayor of Ioannina, Professor of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ioannina; Carla Garcia Zendejas, Director, People, Land & Resources Program, Center for International Environmental Law, Washington; George Sarelakos, Co-founder of Aegean Rebreath, Athens; Vassilis Stamogiannis, Project Manager, Aegean Rebreath, Athens; Michael Jakob, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), Berlin; Dimitris Ibrahim, Climate & Energy Policy Officer, WWF Greece, Athens; Michalis Goudis, Head of Office, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Thessaloniki; Spyros Psaroudas, Environment Expert & General Coordinator, Callisto, Thessaloniki; Srdjan Susic, Environmental Conservation Advocate, Alumnus of LSE, Belgrade; Milan Nikolic, Senior Advisor, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, Belgrade; and Eleni (Lenio) Myrivili, Senior Advisor to the City of Athens for Resilience & Sustainability & Former Deputy Mayor; Senior Fellow and Advisor in Atlantic Council, Athens.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, participants will have a nuanced understanding and knowledge of:

  • concepts related to the interlinking between democracy and politics of climate change
  • debates around climate policy and justice
  • key social and political dimensions of climate change democratic governance at multiple levels
  • Environmental Democracy contextual approach

Module 1: National governments international organizations or the citizen: who is setting the pace?

1
Ecological vs. Environmental Democracy – The way forward?
00:18:09
2
Public participation and climate change
00:12:24
3
People power for climate action
00:16:37
4
Can democracy save the climate? the case of climate legislation
00:10:19
5
Can Democracy Save the Environment? Part I
01:29:01
6
Can Democracy Save the Environment? Part II
01:36:40

Module 2: What governing approach is best placed to tackle the environmental challenge?

1
Environmental Democracy is the only way to Save the Environment
00:20:20
2
Democracy is More Efficient in Fighting Climate Change
00:07:27
3
Environmental Democracy at the Forefront – Part 1
00:11:57
4
Environmental Democracy at the Forefront – Part 2
00:11:26

Module 3: What is the interplay between public and private?

1
Community Bonds and COVID-19
00:10:41
2
Why rethinking housing can help us save the environment?
00:17:38
3
On the political economy of climate and energy policy
00:16:34
4
Democracy and Resilience in the time of Climate and Pandemic Crisis
00:13:14
5
Democracy and the System of Governing Protected Areas in Greece
00:25:15

Reflection

1
Please, leave us your thoughts on this course
00:03:00

This course was held live online back in 2020, but remained relevant until today.