Part 3. Responding to Climate Change

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question:

What are the possibilities for responding to climate change and who has the power over the decision-making process?

Key Content:

1. Disparities in exposure to climate change risk and vulnerability, including variations in people’s location, wealth, social differences (age, gender, education), risk perception

  • Detailed examples of two or more societies with contrasting vulnerability

2. Government-led adaptation and mitigation strategies for global climate change:

  • global geopolitical efforts, recognizing that the source/s of greenhouse gas emissions may be spatially distant from the countries most impacted
  • carbon emissions offsetting and trading
  • ​technology, including geo-engineering

3. Civil society and corporate strategies to address global climate change

  • Case study of the response to climate change in one country focusing on the actions of non-governmental stakeholders

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities:

​Why perspectives and viewpoints may be different about the need for, practicality and urgency of action on global climate change

Thursday 12 January 2023

Disparities to exposure to climate change – What makes people more vulnerable to the risks of climate change?

Objective: To discover the extent to which disparities in exposure to climate change risk and vulnerability exist, including variations in people’s location, wealth, social differences (age, gender, education), risk perception. 

Task 1. Assessing Vulnerability and Risk

While there are different ways of defining who is vulnerable to or at risk from climate change, the diagram below is typical. Vulnerability/risk can be conceptualized as a combination of three parts:

  1. Exposure – the degree to which people are exposed to climate change (**think about physical geography here).
  2. Sensitivity – the degree to which they could be harmed by exposure to climate change (**think about impacts due to physical geography).
  3. Adaptive Capacity – the degree to which they could mitigate the potential harm by taking action to reduce their exposure or sensitivity (**think about socio-economic development factors).

Make a venn diagram using the information above and then annotate with factors relating to each of the three components.

Task 2. Watch the following podcast by Climate Literacy and answer the questions on the worksheet below.

Lesson 1. Climate Change Podcast Worksheet (Google Doc)

Task 3. We now need to have two examples of two societies with contrasting vulnerability to climate change (Switzerland – Skiing and Canada Inuit). Follow the instructions to complete the tasks on the worksheet below. The videos below will act as a good starting point to your research on Switzerland and Canada.

Lesson 1. Responding to Climate Change (Google Doc)

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Adaptation vs. Mitigation

Starter: Watch the first video above.

1. Outline how an adaptation approach to climate change works and how it may be attained. What are the limitations of adaptation?

2. Outline how the mitigation approach works and why it needs to be on a large scale.  

Adaptation – adapting to life in a changing climate – involves adjusting to actual or expected future climate. The goal is to reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level encroachment, more intense extreme weather events or food insecurity). It also encompasses making the most of any potential beneficial opportunities associated with climate change (for example, longer growing seasons or increased yields in some regions).

Mitigation – reducing climate change – involves reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, either by reducing sources of these gases (for example, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat or transport) or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests and soil).

Task 1. Adaptation vs. Mitigation

Make a copy of the venn diagram below. Then sort the cards given into the correct place on the venn diagram according to whether they are a mitigation or adaptation strategy. The words in the centre of the venn diagram are synthesising themes that you should colour code and then connect the different strategies to.

Task 2. Synthesising National Strategies for Mitigation and Adaptation

Use the other set of cards provided to:

  1. Categorise the national strategies under the headings mitigation and adaptation.
  2. Connect the strategies to the correct synthesising theme.

Adaptation Strategies

Task 3. Watch this video about adaptation strategies.

Write a brief description of each of the five adaptation examples implemented by countries.

Task 4. Adaptation at Aspengrove…

Imagine this scenario… It is 2050. Global temperatures have risen by 2.5*C. Flooding events and forest fires have increased in both occurance and severity. Lantzville is one of the worst areas affected. What can Aspengrove School do to adapt to these challenges?

Take a walking tour of the school and describe and explain what strategies Aspengrove can implement to adapt to cope with the increasing flooding and forest fire events.

Thursday 19 January 2023

​Government-led adaptation and mitigation strategies for global climate change…

Starter: Play this Adaptation vs. Mitigation Quiz

There are many obstacles to reducing our carbon footprints and achieving a lower carbon impact whether these be technological, economic or political scenarios (Eg. USA withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement). 


​The oil, coal gas industry in the USA has great power over government and have managed to veto climate change regulations too. Those countries that have major fossil fuel reserves are also the major obstacles to agreement. For it seems that as long as there is money to be made from these finite energy supplies, agreement on climate change solutions will take a back seat. 

Task 1. Going Carbon Zero

Going Carbon Zero is the new buzz word in the climate change world. It means that any CO2 released into the atmosphere from a company’s activities is balanced by an equivalent amount being removed. Both countries and companies are now aiming to become Carbon Zero as soon as possible in an attempt tostop climate change.

Using this November 2019 edition of BBC The Inquiry, complete the note taking framework below on the process of going ‘Carbon Zero’. 

BBC Inquiry Podcast Worksheet (Google Doc)


Task 2. Climate Change Conferences

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They serve to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and beginning in the mid-1990s, to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Watch the following video, which shows a timeline of climate change conferences and answer the questions:

  1. What does COP attempt to achieve?
  2. What did 37 industrialised countries sign up to in the Kyoto Protocol?
  3. What was the major problem with the protocol?
  4. What was the outcome of the Copenhagan Conference in 2009?
  5. What was the main problem with this outcome?
  6. What was the outcome of the Durban Platform in 2011?

Task 3. Criticisms of Climate Change Conferences

Watch the video below produced by BjØrn Lomborg and make notes of some of his criticisms of
the Paris Agreement using the following headings as a guide.

  • Cost
  • Outcome
  • Alternatives

Task 4. Geography Now! COP27

Watch the video and read the Guardian article (both linked below) and answer the following questions:

  1. What is COP27?
  2. Where is it being held?
  3. Who is attending?
  4. Why is it important?
  5. How is COP27 different to the Paris Agreement?
  6. Why is 1.5C so important?
  7. What does Net Zero mean?
  8. What is carbon trading?

Guardian Article

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Mitigation Case Studies

Assessment Task | Part 1. Mitigation strategies infographics.

There are a variety of mitigation strategies that can be implemented in an effort to try to stop climate change. You will investigate six of these today and create a factsheet about them.

1. Carbon Trading
2. Carbon Offsetting
3. Alternatives to fossil fuels
4. Geoengineering
​5. Afforestation
6. Carbon Capture & Sequestration

Each of you will take on two of the above strategies (decide between yourselves which ones you would like to focus on).

For each strategy produce a 1 page fact sheet to share with the others on how the mitigation scheme works. You can use to create your factsheets. Create a free account and you can make 5 visuals for free!

Success Criteria:

  1. ​Description of the strategy.
  2. Explanation of how it works.
  3. Explanantion of how it helps to slow down climate change.
  4. Advantages and disadvantages in terms of social, economic and political cost.
  5. Images and maps to show the strategy in action.  

You may use the subject textbook and the videos below as a starting point but you will need to carry out your own research. 

1. Carbon Trading
2. Carbon Offsetting
3. Alternatives to fossil fuels
4. Geoengineering
5. Afforestation
5. Afforestation
6. Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Assessment Task | Part 2. COP28 Proposal

You are a representative at COP28 and you need to put forward a written/video proposal for two mitigation strategies that should be adopted by member countries in your region. Choose from one of the following regions:

  1. Western Europe
  2. Northern Africa
  3. Central Africa
  4. Southern Africa
  5. Middle East
  6. North America
  7. South America
  8. Oceania
  9. South East Asia
  10. Central Asia

Think about the following factors when writing your proposal:

  • Social cost
  • Economic/Political cost
  • Ease of implementation in your region

Due: Tuesday 31 January 2023

Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 January 2023

The Role of Civil Society in Responding to Climate Change

Enquiry Question:

How effective are non-governmental stakeholders in responding to climate change?

Lesson Objectives:

  • To describe and explain the role of civil society groups including NGOs and Corporate organisations in responding to climate change
  • To evaluate the role of such groups in Bangladesh


This last part of Unit 2, Section 3 will examine the role of civil society and other non governmental stakeholders in responding to the threats of climate change. We will investigate different civil society groups and their growing role in advocacy, before briefly looking at the role of corporations in regard to sustainable business strategies, innovation and advocacy. We will then investigate a number of grass root NGO projects based in Bangladesh as a case study of civil society groups and how they are involved in creating sustainable livelihoods and resilient communities as an adaptive measure to the threats of climate change.

Task 1. Civil Society Groups

According to the World Bank, a civil society refers to: “refers to a wide array of organizations: community groups, non-governmental organizations [NGOs], labour unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations.”

Read the cards that you have been given. Each discusses one example of civil society advocacy on climate change.

Report back to your partner on the:

  1. Place involved
  2. Role of the civil society group
  3. Scale at which the advocacy was operating (local/national/international)
  4. What the group has done to help

Task 2. Corporations

Watch the following videos and make notes on:

  1. Why corporations are taking climate change seriously
  2. The role of corporations in regard to policy making
  3. How their role in researching nano technology paves the way for future corporate innovation

Task 3. Climate Change Resilience in Bangladesh

The following diagram from the DFID in the UK represents a model for responding to humanitarian disasters and for building resilience.

Using the worksheet provided, which features each element of the model above assess the level of resilience to climate change hazards in the photograph, taken in the Sundarbans, in Bangladesh. This is the start of our case study into Bangladesh.

Thursday 26 January 2023

Civil Society Case Study: Bangladesh

Lesson Objectives:

  • To describe and explain the role of civil society groups including NGOs and Corporate organisations in responding to climate change
  • To evaluate the role of such groups in Bangladesh

Starter: Adapatation or Mitigation?

  • Read the strategy cards and decide whether they are an adaptation or mitigation strategy or both.
  • Annotate at least 4 cards to explain how they are an adaptation or mitigation strategy or both.

Task 1. Oxfam – Rural Resilience Initiative

Watch the following video produced by Oxfam on the Rural Resilience Initiative and complete the note taking sheet provided.

Task 2. Building Resilience in Bangladeshi Women

Read the following case study adapted from UN Women and the questions on how they are working on increasing women’s resilience in Bangladesh.

  1. How did the project work?
  2. Why is it focused on women?
  3. What makes women in particular more vulnerable to climate change?

Task 2. Building Resilience in Bangladeshi Women (Google Doc)

Task 3. The Role of Mangroves

Watch the following video on the role of mangroves. Make notes on:

  • Their economic importance for increasing resilience of coastal communities to climate change.
  • Their environmental importance for increasing resilience of coastal communities to climate change.
  • Their social importance for increasing resilience of coastal communities to climate change.

Read more about the The Mangrove Action Project.

Task 4. UNDP Projects

  • Take a look at some of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) projects that are currently underway in Bangladesh.
  • Choose ONE which are related to climate change and briefly outline the following:
    • Objective
    • Areas of work
    • Results
  • Compare your projects with the others discussed in today’s lesson, and those chosen by your peers, and discuss which you think is the most successful/useful in the fight against climate change and why.