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

Tuesday 30 November 2021

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. 

Starter: Study the map and suggest factors that influence the level of vulnerability to climate change at the global scale.

Task 1. Assessing Vulnerability and Risk

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

Diagram, venn diagram
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Make a copy of the diagram above and then arrange the statements given around the venn diagram in the correct place.

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. To complete this task, you will need the IB DP Geography textbook.  You will complete the first section on vulnerability followed by detailed examples of two societies with contrasting vulnerability (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)

Friday 03 December 2021

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

Complete the venn diagram worksheet with examples of mitigation and adaptation that you think  governments can lead on from the cards provided.


Task 2. Synthesising National Strategies for Mitigation and Adaptation

Use the 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.

Tuesday 07 December 2021

​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! COP26

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

  1. What is COP26?
  2. Where is it being held?
  3. Who is attending?
  4. Why is it important?
  5. How is COP26 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

Friday 10 December 2021

Mitigation Case Studies

Task 1.  Mitigation strategies infographics.

There are a variety of mitigation strategies that can be implemented in an effort to try to stop climate change. We will investigate 6 of these in todays lesson.

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

Each take on three 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 other on how the mitigation scheme work. You can use to create your factsheets. Create a free account and you can make 5 visuals for free!

​Include images and maps to show the schemes 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. 

Ensure these fact pages are finished for Monday!

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

Tuesday 14 December 2021

The Role of Civil Society in Responding to Climate Change

Starter: Mitigation Case Studies

Share your mitigation strategies with each other. Rank the six strategies according to how effective you think they will be in responding to climate change. Think about:

  • Social cost
  • Governmental cost
  • Ease of implementation in a wide range of countries

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 below 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.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

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?

  • Lable the pictures according to whether they are an adaptation or mitigation strategy.
  • Match the name of the strategy to the correct picture.

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.

Task 4. Evaluating the Work of the Mangroves Action Project in Bangladesh

Use the google doc linked below, to evaluate the success of the NGO Mangroves Action Project in Bangladesh. Use the following site to research the NGO’s role – Mangrove Action Project

  • Evaluate the success requires a balanced overview which may or may not be critical on the level of success achieved
  • Clear evaluation of success and ongoing challenges is required alongside the descriptive understanding of the work of the NGO

Task 4. Evaluating Success of Mangroves Action Plan in Bangladesh (Google Doc)