Introducing students to climate change science and policy

The Global Climate Change Science and Policy Course (EAS4443/5443/4441) focuses on how science factors into global policy making, including through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Students in the course work with partner organizations to assist them with climate change–related research projects and preparation for upcoming climate negotiations or meetings.

Students critically analyze contemporary climate change science and global environmental policy-making; articulate the main issues with global climate change from the viewpoints of different countries and people with diverse perspectives; and understand the barriers and opportunities to address the issues. The course enables Cornell students to participate in global, engaged learning projects and make vital contributions to the climate change work of developing countries and NGOs. The Global Climate Change Science and Policy course serves as a Capstone Course for juniors and seniors in the Environment & Sustainability major.

Fall 2021 Global Climate Change Science and Policy Briefs

The UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, on 31 October – 12 November, 2021. Follow the news and events of the conference with the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and Cornell delegates. Leading up to COP26, eight student teams from the Global Climate Change Science and Policy course developed Policy Briefs and recommendations on key issues being negotiated at the COP. They have conducted research and interviewed experts from the UNFCCC and other organizations about their topics to help provide guidance for the Cornell delegation to COP26 and other negotiators. Student teams will present their final policy briefs in a Global Climate Change Symposium on December 15, 2021 for the Cornell and wider community.



Team members: Ella De Bruijn, Michael McGuigan, Daniela Garcia Moreno, and Hazel Park.

Article 6: Market Mechanism

Team Members: Stephanie Neitlich, Alejandra Plaza Limon, Connor Tamor, and Grace Zheng.

Climate Finance

Team Members: Shannen Chua, Tommy Crocker, Sonam Norbu, and Arden Podpora.

Climate Smart Mitigation Mechanisms

Team Members: Maggie Gaus, Kimberly Garcia, Joyce Kabui, and Nathan Lamm

Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE)

Team Members: Homari Aoki, Alana Becker, and Isabella Kong.

Koronivia Joint Work Program on Agriculture (KJWA)

Team Members: Hanna Castelo, Paul Corsi, Taylor Herne, and Samantha Landsman.

National Commitments & Transparency

Team Members: Alora  Cisneroz, Gabriela D'Erasmo, Mac Dickerson, and Rae Specht.

Research and Systematic Observation

Team Members: Juliana Christopoulos, Nick Hamp-Adams, Maggie Lin, and Elena Martin Hernandez.

In previous years, students in the class have been chosen to participate in the Cornell observer delegation to the UNFCCC climate negotiations at COP conferences. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students were not able to travel to the COP26 meeting, but participated virtually, and helped brief faculty on the Cornell Delegation to the UNFCCC Global Climate Change Negotiations

The Global Climate Change Science and Policy course is offered by the Departments of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Environment & Sustainability Program. Funding to develop the engaged learning curriculum was provided by Engaged Cornell.

Course instructors

On the global stage

Application process

Apply for EAS 4443: Global Climate Change Science and Policy course

This course is a capstone for the Environment & Sustainability major. Some of the students from this course may be able to go to the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The application period for 2022 is now open. 

Four women students stand at a conference in Poland