Professional Course

Tourism and Climate Change

edX, Online
5 weeks
5 weeks
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Course description

Tourism and Climate Change

From global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions to ecosystem change and loss of biodiversity, from excessive precipitation to extreme droughts; the effects of climate change have become apparent around the world. Eventhough such disasters are devastating for tourism, the industry’s contribution to climate change remains formidable. And if it continues to grow as it does today, the United Nations expect tourism to be solely responsible for consuming the global yearly carbon budget by 2070, all by itself!

In turn, climate change is already affecting tourism destinations. For instance, numerous small islands and coral reefs are under threat of devastating storms and sea level rise. At the same time, we can see other parts of the world gradually turning into deserts, caused by incessant droughts as well as excessive water consumption by tourism.

Who should attend?


None, although we do recommend you to enrol in the the MOOC Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects as a preparation for this MOOC.

Training content

Module 1: Planetary overview

In module 1 you will become aware of planetary context of tourism and climate change. We address topics such as:

  • Planetary boundaries
  • Climate change
  • The greenhouse effect
  • Emissions
  • Tourism emissions

Exercise:Self-positioning in the tourism and climate change debate

Module 2: Tourism impacts

The goal of module 2 is to become aware of impacts of tourism on the climate and climate change. You will learn about:

  • Emissions, trends and future
  • Paris Agreement
  • Mitigation challenges
  • Adaptation challenges

Exercise: Calculate your travel footprint & interpret/discuss

Module 3: Climate impacts

In the third module of the course you will become aware of

  1. Climate change effects on environment, tourism and society
  2. Potential use of climate services

We will address topics such as:

  • (in)Direct effects
  • Mitigation effects
  • Societal effects
  • Vulnerabilities of places and people
  • Climate Services and decision making

Module 4: Connecting Agenda’s

In this module you will understand the linkages between mitigation and adaptation agendas and create awareness of future challenges of tourism.

You will learn about:

  • Mutual influence mitigation and adaptation strategies
  • Extreme tourism scenarios
  • Future course scenarios

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Wageningen University & Research, a partner institute of EdX.

2-4 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$199
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

By joining this course you will gain awareness & understanding of:

  • The relationship- and mutual impacts of- tourism and climate change
  • Climate change mitigation/adaptation strategies
  • Future challenges in tourism related to climate change
  • Apply lessons learned on your own/organisational situation
  • Reflect upon your own behaviour/calculate travel footprint/model future scenarios

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