Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Decarbonizing our economies

Brown University

Public Policy / Admin


Alice Plane


Simulations,Readings from Underrepresented groups,Group projects

In Part I, this course will offer you the means to answer this question, focusing on the 4 most emitting sectors of greenhouse gases to date: Energy, Buildings, Transportation, and Agro-industry -- also looking at industry overall as well as consumption behaviors. We will be studying together what the means to decarbonize such sectors in a given country are – using on actual data sets. You will be asked to work in small groups on a given country (including but not limited to some of the biggest GHG emitting countries: the USA, China, India, Germany and Brazil). By the end of mid-term, you will produce an “issue brief” proposal for economy-wide decarbonization in the country assigned to your group. Your work will be supported by En-ROADS, an interactive modeling tool integrating systems dynamics by Climate Interactive.

In Part II of the course, while practicing your skills in op-ed writing to promote your policy proposal(s), you will delve into the hurdles of implementation, looking at the (extremely low) rates of compliance of environmental policies, at the issue of social justice and fair transition, and eventually touching upon our very own (individual as well as collective) immunity to change.

Over the course of the semester, we will identify the power dynamics of the various stakeholders of climate (and economic) policy and empower you to actively address them with adequate proposals.