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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Climate Change Measurement (online) (PGGE11220)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course amalgamates the highly popular and successful existing courses 'Carbon Accounting' and 'Ecosystem Valuation and Management' for online provision.The course covers the topics of ecosystem services, footprinting, reporting and labelling using a delivery approach and format that already is used for the successful online course 'Climate Change Impacts & Adaptation' as part of the Global Challenges MSc.
Course description This course focuses on the two main concepts:

Ecosystem services: its history and rise to prominence. It explores the ways in which ecosystem services can be valued, measured and monetized by society, across the spectrum from aesthetic to extractive. Both theoretical and practical applications of ecosystem valuation are explored through case studies of polices and projects. Real-world examples of ecosystem services being valued are presented, and current policy responses are examined including payments for ecosystem services projects, biodiversity offsets, certification schemes and REDD+.

Carbon Footprinting and Auditing: this course will discuss the history of footprinting and eco-labelling and the various schemes which exist internationally. Students will be introduced to the various footprinting and labelling methodologies and how consistency and reliability is maintained through auditing. This course will cover product and corporate carbon footprinting in detail. Students will come away from the course with specific skills in the calculative practices associated with carbon accounting
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the range of measurement, calculation, reporting and auditing requirements and challenges imposed by climate change
  2. Understand the main drivers for carbon accounting, and have an appreciation for how they may change over time
  3. Appreciate the ethical questions raised by carbon accounting, and the risks associated with different accounting practices
  4. Work in an impartial, transparent, relevant and accurate manner when carrying out carbon footprinting and auditing
  5. Understand the role that ecosystems play in terms of underpinning critical services for human wellbeing
Learning Resources
World Resources Institute (WRI)/World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) (2004) The Greenhouse Gas
Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard.

British Standards Institution (BSI) (2011) PAS2050:2011. Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services, British Standards Institution, London.

UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2011) The UK National Ecosystem Assessment Technical Report. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge.

WBCD (2011): Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Services Valuation. World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On completion of this course, students should be able to:
- critically evaluate carbon accounting and ecosystem services statements;
- critically evaluate alternative approaches to carbon accounting and ecosystem services
- cooperate with others from different professional, educational and cultural backgrounds to produce group analysis and information relevant to academia, businesses and policy makers
KeywordsCarbon Footprinting, Ecosystem Valuation, Carbon Labelling, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Carbon Account
Course organiserDr David Reay
Tel: (0131 6)50 7722
Course secretaryMrs Alice Heatley
Tel: (0131 6)50 4866
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