Net Zero 101: What, Why and How

2 Hours
Programme Area
Environment, Climate Change
Event Focal Point Email
United Nations University - Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
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Have you ever heard about “net zero”? From governments to companies, net zero has often been mentioned as an important climate goal. But what does this concept really mean? 

Understanding net zero requires understanding many climate science terminologies, and this course breaks down the science in easy-to-understand terms. Throughout the course you will be provided with practical tips to contribute to climate action. By the end you will gain a solid foundation in the science behind climate change and net zero. 


What will you learn?

After completing the course, you will be able to:

  • Define what anthropogenic climate change is and link it with the concept of net zero. 
  • Identify UN organizations, key milestones and international treaties relevant to climate action. 
  • Analyze the environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change. Explain the importance of a whole-of-society approach and the roles of different actors in achieving net zero. 
  • Describe the importance of contextualized measures to achieve net zero and determine sustainable and practical ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint. 
  • Select the most effective and viable renewable energy solutions considering their cost-effectiveness and sustainability given different contexts.

Course at a glance:

This self-paced course consists of three easy-to-follow short modules, comprising an online lesson and a quiz. Each module takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on how in-depth learners explore them.

Module 1: What is Net Zero?
Module 2: Why Net Zero? 
Module 3: How to Net Zero?


You will receive a certificate of completion from UNU-IAS once all of the following conditions have been met:

  • Complete the three online lessons; and
  • Score at least 75% on the quiz of each module.

Who is this course for?

This e-course caters to anyone who wishes to develop a foundational level of understanding on the basic sciences behind climate change, its environmental, social and economic impacts, and actions we can take as responsible citizens to achieve a net-zero society. You do not need a technical background in climate science to complete the course. The course is conducted in English only.