Towards Inclusive Green Transitions

Course code
Course fee
Course Level
Master or PhD

Are you interested in learning about the chances and challenges for inclusive and just green transitions? This course examines the socioeconomic dimensions and distribution outcomes of sustainability transitions in theory and practice from a multi-disciplinary perspective. With a special focus on the Global South, the course also aims to discuss ways in which green transitions can create sustainable benefits for vulnerable and traditionally excluded communities and groups so that no one is left behind. The course will run on an interactive methodology that features group work, lectures and discussions by and with experienced scholars, practitioners, and private entrepreneurs.

The Green Transition describes the process of societal transformation towards climate resilient and low-carbon economies in line with global climate change mitigation targets and strategies. The impacts of climate change fall disproportionally on developing countries, albeit they contribute the least to global greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, nation states from the Global North to the Global South have adopted green transition strategies, for example the EU member states’ shared policies under the European Green Deal or the Uganda Green Growth Strategy, and the decarbonization of the energy sector will play a major role to achieve targets under these strategies. However, in developing countries climate change mitigation and adaptation measures are oftentimes overshadowed by development challenges, for example in Uganda that simultaneously aims for universal energy access by 2030 (from the current national energy access rate of 42%) and for a decarbonized energy sector.

Since the early 2000s intergovernmental development organizations press for the integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable development interventions, which has also been dubbed as “climate mainstreaming”. This linkage is also enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In this one-week, comprehensive online course, we will critically discuss about current and potential chances and issues for communities and vulnerable groups in the Global South that come along with the Green Transition and “climate mainstreaming” through competing perspectives on how to roll back climate change, such as market-based approaches (e.g. carbon offsetting or cap and trade schemes), enabling factors (e.g. effective institutions and governance or knowledge and education), adaptation in social-ecological systems (e.g. coping strategies or transformative adaptation), or the aforementioned technology-centered approach (e.g. innovative renewable energy or energy efficiency solutions).

Set-up of the course

This online course is organised by the International Development Studies Group of the Human Geography and Planning Department at Utrecht University´s Faculty of Geoscience with contributions from guest scholars, practitioners, and private entrepreneurs. Participants will gain up to date knowledge on the goals and drivers of the Green Transition as well as the socio-economic distribution issues it brings along and we will explore multiple options how to make this transition inclusive in a way that it also creates social and economic benefits for vulnerable groups in the Global South. Participants will also learn how to place the processes of the Green Transition in broader theoretical traditions and policy debates both at the local and international level.

The course runs over 10 days, with 1 interactive plenary sessions each day (20 hours total). Additionally, participants will work on a group project. The plenary sessions will discuss real-life cases to provide a general overview of main competing perspectives on green transitions.

Day-to-day programme

The day-to-day programme will be published shortly. 

Course director
Dominique Schmid (MSc)

Target audience

The course is designed for Master and PhD students, academics, and practitioners from environmental and development organisations and the private industry who are interested in gaining a basic understanding of the socio-economic dimensions,  challenges and chances of the green transitions with a special focus on the Global South.

Aim of the course

The course provides participants with a solid overview on the conceptual and political debates regarding inclusivity and fairness in green transitions. Participants will also build understanding of practical cases and learn about possible solutions to optimize social and economic development impacts in the Global South driven by the green transition initiatives.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Extra information about the fee

A limited number of scholarships are available for students and practitioners from the Global South. If you wish to apply for a scholarship please add this in your motivation.

More information

Dominque Schmid | E:


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
25 June 2021