Course Offerings

All students, regardless of their Area of Specialization, must take one mandatory core course and three courses from their chosen Area of Specialization. 

Mandatory Course 

Multidisciplinary Concepts of Climate Risk (CLMTRISK 9001)

This course will cover the basic fundamentals of climate risk and climate change targeted to students of all disciplines. It will be structured more towards the basic understanding and science behind climate change. This course will also tackle an interdisciplinary approach to climate risk. It will focus on the breadth of climate risk in relation to Engineering, Science, Social Science, and Business, and how these fields work together to tackle the larger problem of climate risk and climate change. By the end of the course, students should be able to understand the complexity of climate risk, including the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to tackle climate risk issues.


Area of Specialization Courses

In addition to the mandatory course, students are required to take 3 courses from within the Area of Specialization of their choice.

Climate Risk and Infrastructure Resiliency (Faculty of Engineering)

Climate Hazards for Engineers (CRENG 9002)

The purpose of this course is to introduce engineers to basic concepts in climate change and climate hazards such that they can perform basic analyses for climate risk assessments. By the end of the course, the student should be able to calculate and map the probability of occurrence of various climate hazard extremes, understand how these hazards produce risk through their interactions with the built environment, and understand the uncertainty associated with the estimates, including the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in risk assessment and climate change adaptation. Students should be capable of assessing data sets to determine if the data is appropriate for a given risk assessment application (e.g., understanding hourly wind values as a design basis is flawed and why, such as load duration, difference between storm types, etc.).

Climate Risk Assessment of Infrastructure Systems (CRENG 9003)

The purpose of this course is to introduce engineers to the basic methods for conducting climate and extreme weather risk assessments as applied to infrastructure systems. By the end of the course, the student should be able to calculate and map the risk and vulnerability of climate hazards to infrastructure systems following various frameworks, including the PIEVC method, as well as emerging international frameworks. Students will understand the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches and will learn how to tailor risk assessments to the needs of each assessment.

Applied Climate Risk Assessment (CRENG 9004)

The purpose of this course is for the student to conduct a climate risk assessment, present it to multi-disciplinary audiences, and develop an understanding of uncertainty. The students will work in small teams to conduct an analysis of their choosing.  There will be a small set of lectures where (i) outside experts present examples of climate risk analyses from around the world, and (ii) practical issues around data usage (e.g., gaps, reliability) and application are discussed. Students will present their projects to the class.

Climate Change and Financial Modelling (Faculty of Science)

Understanding Climate and Climate Change (CRSCI 9007)

This course provides an overview of the science of climate and the study of climate change. Changes in climate will affect all sectors of society (e.g., economy, heath, agriculture).  However, to understand these impacts we need to understand the science behind these changes. This course will examine the tools scientists use to identify natural fluctuations in climate through geological time and the models that are used to predict future changes.

Financial Climate Risk Management (CRSCI 9006)

In this course, the techniques necessary to implement the recommendations made by the national and international organizations, such as the International Panel on Climate Change of the UN, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions of Canada, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision regarding the management of climate-related financial risks. This course will collate and integrate the vision of these organizations focusing not only on Financial Institutions, but also on any organization concerned with the impact of climate change (physical risks) and the transition to a low-carbon economy (transitional risks) in their operations, from a financial point of view.

Impact Forecasting and Management of Natural Catastrophes and Climate Risks (CRSCI 9005)

Natural hazards and disaster risk reduction are important and fast-evolving areas of research and practice in Canada and globally. It is an interdisciplinary field that cuts across natural sciences (e.g., meteorology, climatology, geophysics, geology, and hydrology), applied sciences (e.g., structural and infrastructure engineering), data sciences (e.g., statistics and GIS spatial data analysis), and risk financing/management (e.g., insurance and reinsurance).  The four key elements of natural hazard and climate risks are integrated to quantify the risks of natural disasters to urban environments and exposed population. Students will learn practical skills of environmental data analysis and qualitative as well as quantitative assessments of natural hazards and climate risks, and will conduct practical exercises of developing natural hazard risk mitigation plans.

Climate Change Governance (Faculty of Social Science)

Climate Risks and Energy Transition (CRSOSCI 9010) 

One of the cornerstones of global greenhouse gas reduction is the transition of energy systems to more efficient, lower carbon, forms.  The course will focus on both the supply of energy (i.e., renewable sources) and the demand (e.g., heating, transportation) for energy from a range of stakeholders including governments, the private sector, various publics including Indigenous communities, and individual households.  A core objective of the course is to recognize that while the science continues to evolve (e.g., energy storage) several actions can be enacted now.  Thus, we will engage both behavioural and critical approaches to highlight how efforts to effect change at the individual level are bound up in potentially antiquated organizational models and thinking.  Students will be introduced to the concepts and frameworks that encourage e.g., more efficient organization of electricity grids (smart grids, distributed grids) along with the various political, social, and cultural challenges for to their adoption.  Energy justice will be a guiding conceptual principle for understanding these energy transitions. 

Governance and Climate Risk (CRSOSCI 9009)

Climate risk governance is multi-scalar and includes broad stakeholders like the private sector and civil society organizations.   Acute impacts of climate change and severe weather will be particularly intense in urban environments placing municipalities in a pivotal role for adaptation strategies. They along with federal and provincial governments, can also be central agents of positive change for carbon reduction. The course will involve developing an understanding power and limitations of all levels to effect change.  Students will learn about the governance as it directly relates to severe weather, energy use, and carbon reduction policies and concepts like adaptation and resilience. They will explore the role of federal carbon reduction targets and the central importance of official/master plans for municipal governance and the relatively recent rise of ancillary planning like community energy plans and climate adaptation plans. They will learn practical skills such as synthesizing literature and generating policy briefs.  The course will help develop an understanding of how climate risk is not something that is governed in a single “department”, but crosscuts vertically within formal governments and horizontally across a wide array of stakeholders.

Climate Risk and Jusice (CRSOSCI 9008) 

This course provides an overview of key social scientific approaches to understanding climate risk and adaptation.  A central theme of the course is the spatial, historical, and social unevenness of both the causes and impacts of climate change as well as efforts to mitigate harms from impacts like extreme climate and weather events (e.g., Indigenous communities).  One overarching framework is the political economy of the Anthropocene, and a politics that can mitigate against ineffectual concessions while taking lead roles on real, positive change.  Students will analyze disaster data along with case-studies of key climate impacts.  Other themes include the challenge of changing cultural practices, ways of life, and patterns of behaviour.  Students will be asked to explore the opportunities for, and challenges involved in, deploying climate mitigation and adaptation strategies that involve fundamental individual and societal changes to historical ways of life and being.  Thus, the course underscores the multiple rationalities, beyond scientific ones, that are embedded in climate change minimization and impact mitigation strategies.

Business and Climate Risk (Ivey Business School)

Embedding Climate Strategies in Business

Delivery model - synchronous and asynchronous

Competitive advantage can be rooted in new capabilities related to net-zero, and other aspects of the environmental and social bottom lines. Taking the perspective of general managers, we will confront difficult challenges, scientific uncertainty, and new opportunities. Overall, the course is designed to deepen your understanding of value creation, value delivery and value capture that are central to business strategy; to map a number of the complex and evolving interactions between business and society along the supply chain; and to delve into promising sources of improved competitiveness.

ESG In-Action

Delivery model - synchronous and asynchronous

Climate risk is a financial risk. While there is variability in the degree to which climate risk presents in the economic fundamentals of corporations, climate risk is so pervasive and endemic a risk, that no corporation can avoid it. With the realization that climate change threatens the long-term viability of corporations, large institutional investors and asset managers – organizations and institutions that control a large percentage of the world’s biggest businesses – have mobilized in recent years. The pressure that these institutions exert on boards of directors and the corporate governance ecosystem more broadly, is critically important to effecting change in the strategic direction of corporations. 

Finance for Climate

Delivery model - synchronous and asynchronous

In Canada (and globally), innovative financial instruments offer exciting potential to help build thriving and healthy ecosystems and communities. When successful, such investment vehicles enable investors to:

  • Generate profits. 
  • Address societal challenges.
  • Strengthen collective governance through multi-stakeholder partnerships; and,
  • Ensure a more efficient public and private money use by sharing risks and implementing specific incentive and measurement systems. 

However, the same financial instruments can have the opposite effect when poorly designed. It is, therefore, of primary importance to understand the mechanisms of success and failure of these new financial practices.