‘Climate-fit’ (‘klimafit’) is a region-specific course for continuing education in municipal and regional climate protection, and addresses the topic of ‘climate change and climate adaptation’. The course structure incorporates a number of didactic building blocks, which are combined in the context of a blended learning concept. Accordingly, the course elements include both E-learning and classical classroom teaching. In addition to educational videos on climate change from the WWF’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), the course components include digital live-talks and on-site talks by leading climate researchers (e.g. from the Helmholtz climate initiative REKLIM research network), group projects and quiz questions, as well as study units to work on at home. This mix of elements optimally combines their respective advantages, while also ensuring the course content is conveyed in an engaging and varied manner.
The shared point of departure for all five sessions is climate change at the global level; however, in each session regional and local perspectives on the respective topic are also explored and discussed, helping the participants grasp how all three levels are interconnected. In addition, by taking a closer look at the local level, the course shows the effects of climate change in their own region, and discusses how these effects can be countered. The local climate protection manager or an alternate from the respective hosting city provides this information. This aspect is an essential component of the ‘climate-fit’ (‘klimafit’) courses, as it reinforces the participants’ role as local multipliers for climate protection and motivates them to become actively involved.
The course is divided into five units, which are intended to provide the participants with a sound overview of climate change, a goal that is supported between the evening sessions by the course-specific ‘climate-fit (‘klimafit’) programme’: an additional component in which the participants work on climate-related tasks in their own homes. After having completed the five evening sessions, the participants are considered to be ‘climate-fit’ (‘klimafit’) – i.e., in good shape when it comes to what they know about climate change – and receive a certificate of completion.
The evening sessions are divided into the following topic areas:
• Evening session 1: Fundamentals of climate change
• Evening session 2: Causes
• Evening session 3: Impacts
• Evening session 4: What you can do
• Evening session 5: Making our region ‘climate-fit’ (‘klimafit’)
Evening session 1: Fundamentals of climate change
Evening session 1 focuses on the fundamentals of climate change. The participants receive basic information on the nature of our climate and weather, the climate system, and the natural and anthropogenic greenhouse effect, helping them gain a general grasp of climate changes and man-made climate change. A further important component of the first evening session is a professional talk on climate change in the participants’ own region, which offers them an initial local perspective that can be explored further in the course of the subsequent sessions. In the first ‘climate-fit (‘klimafit’) programme’ the emphasis is on the participants’ experiences with climate change, and on those areas of their lives in which climate change is already noticeable.
Evening session 2: Causes
To deepen the participants’ understanding of climate change, the second evening session addresses the causes of climate change. In this regard, detailed information is provided on greenhouse gases, their effects and the development of their emissions. The participants learn about greenhouse-gas emissions by sector and country, before turning to global temperature developments stemming from the respective greenhouse gas concentrations. The topic is then rounded out with a peek into the greenhouse-gas budget of the participants’ region, provided by the municipal climate protection representative. In addition, the relation between regionally produced greenhouse-gas emissions and global consequences is presented from a scientific perspective. As part of the second ‘climate-fit (‘klimafit’) programme’, the participants calculate their own CO2 footprint.
Evening session 3: Impacts
During the third evening session, the various impacts of climate change are presented and discussed. In the process, individual impacts at the global, regional and local level – like extreme weather events – are more closely analysed. In addition, the participants learn about the differences between scenarios, models and projections, before being introduced to their home city’s climate protection efforts. In the third ‘climate-fit (‘klimafit’) programme’, the participants’ task is to select a number of climate protection measures that they would like to personally implement, e.g. traveling more often by bicycle or local public transport, buying more used products instead of new ones, or reducing packaging waste to a minimum. The participants are expected to have planned these changes by the next evening session.
Evening session 4: What you can do
In the fourth evening session, the spotlight is on adapting to the impacts of climate change, and on how we can all do our part to help. In this regard, the municipal climate adaptation measures are presented. Further, the participants are shown how climate adaptation and climate protection work at the individual, structural and political level – information that is then supplemented by a scientific case study on climate adaptation and extreme heat. The evening session closes with a group project, in which the participants discuss how they can personally contribute to municipal climate protection and municipal climate adaptation. In turn, the project prepares them for the last ‘climate-fit (‘klimafit’) programme’: after the fourth evening session, the participants are asked to consider how they can actively participate in local climate protection after the ‘climate-fit (‘klimafit’) course’ ends.
Evening session 5: Making our region ‘climate-fit’ (‘klimafit’)
The goal of the fifth and final evening session is to portray climate change, climate protec-tion and climate adaptation in the context of regional climate protection and adaptation initiatives. Here, the focus is on networking the participants and encouraging them to active-ly help combat the on-going climate change. In addition, the municipal climate protection representative provides a closing overview of the different fields of action and concrete measures.