GCC 5034

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How can we Transition Minnesota to a Carbon-Free Economy?

The science is clear that we need to decarbonize the economy on a global scale as soon as possible to prevent catastrophic effects of climate change on human health and the environment. What does it mean to develop a prosperous carbon-neutral economy, while also improving people’s lives and the environment? How can this transition happen to make the benefits of societal wealth more equitable, and while protecting vulnerable populations? Will a transition to a carbon-free economy force us to change our quality of life? Together we will seek practical solutions to address these complex challenges. While there isn’t a single “right” solution to grand challenges, progress can be made through an interdisciplinary perspective. This course will attempt to answer these questions through: A series of primers—lectures and discussions on key topics—to build your understanding of key topics for creating a carbon neutral economy Explore the conflicts that exist between solutions to rapidly reduce carbon emissions and create a clean energy future, through a deep case study of Minnesota “Knowledge to Impact” workshops that introduce key skills and capacities for addressing any complex challenge Working in interdisciplinary teams to build upon lectures, discussions, and workshops to propose a well-developed solution to a problem related to the course’s grand challenge.