GCC 5034 Grand Challenge: How can we Transition Minnesota to a Carbon-Free Economy?

Wednesdays 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Fall 2019

Instructors: Ellen Anderson, Executive Director, University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab, Kathy Draeger, Statewide Director of Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships & Adjunct Professor of Agronomy and Plant GeneticsFred Rose, Acara Co-Director and Affiliate Faculty, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


The science is clear that we need to decarbonize the economy on a global scale as soon as possible to prevent catastrophic effects of climate change on human health and the environment.

What does it mean to develop a prosperous carbon-neutral economy, while also improving people’s lives and the environment? How can this transition happen to make the benefits of societal wealth more equitable, and while protecting vulnerable populations? Will a transition to a carbon-free economy force us to change our quality of life?

Together we will seek practical solutions to address these complex challenges. This course will attempt to answer these questions through a series of lectures and discussions to build your understanding of key topics for creating a carbon neutral economy. We will also explore the conflicts that exist between solutions to rapidly reduce carbon emissions and create a clean energy future, and work in interdisciplinary teams to build upon lectures, discussions, and workshops and propose a well-developed solution to creating a carbon-free economy in Minnesota.


Class Info: http://gcc.umn.edu/gcc-courses/gcc-5034

This course is part of the University’s new, innovative Grand Challenge Curriculum.