Certificate Course on Climate Change and the Economics of World Food and Agriculture


Agriculture, food and climate change are inextricable:  food production systems are highly vulnerable to weather fluctuations and climate trends; agri-food systems are large sources and potential sinks of greenhouse gases; agricultural land uses affect many of the planet’s natural cycles.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the global community more attuned to the need to build back better and stronger, creating transformative changes toward systems that are more resilient, more equitable, and more climate smart.  But what should be done to promote these transformations in the context of increased weather variability and climate change?  And who should do what?

Economics is key.  Economic perspectives help us to understand why people (consumers, farmers, processors) do what they do and thus how they are likely to respond to changes in technology, energy source, incentives, constraints and market opportunities.  Economic perspectives also help us to understand the effects of internal and external context.  A response that is adaptive in one context may worsen vulnerability in another.

In this 6-session certificate course, we will acquaint participants with relevant economics concepts and approaches, illustrate the application of those concepts and approaches, and review relevant empirical evidence from Canada and around the developing world.  Along the way we will address the dilemmas associated with technologies (eg biotechnologies, antibiotics, precision agriculture), new energy sources (eg solar, wind, biofuel), markets for new products (eg carbon, plant proteins, indexed insurance), and social protection against risks (eg floods, droughts, pests).


This certificate course will be run as a set of 6 virtual meetings on Zoom Webinar, from 12;00PM – 13:20PM (Mountain Time) on Tuesday June 8th and concluding on Thursday June 24th.  Each session will last 80 minutes, with 45-50 minutes of presentation and 20-25 minutes of moderated discussion.

Participants will enroll in an electronic classroom (eclass) that will provide them with a base of reference material and opportunities to participate in online discussion forums.

The coordinator and presenters are academic staff in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta, with two guest speakers who have extensive experience in evaluating the economics of climate change in developing country agriculture.


This is a topic of general interest.  We will invite participants from the 2020 course on “COVID-19 and the economics of world food and agriculture” as well as university staff and students, professionals working the Canadian agri-food sector, and the concerned public.  A basic understanding of economics will be useful, but not required..  We welcome participants from around the world.

Participants who complete all 6 modules, a course evaluation, and a short reflection will be eligible for a participation certificate after the class concludes.

Fees: Free to all for participating in any or all modules.  Certificate is free for all students and all participants located in a developing or transition country.  Certificate is $CDN 50 for all other participants.

Four steps of course registration:

  1. Shop (add modules to your cart)
  2. Check out
  3. Register for UofA external eclass
  4. Self-enroll in eclass.