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Arqus Winter School on Europe's role in the climate crisis

Climate risk and the role of science are the subjects of one of the Arqus Alliance's first teaching activities. Arqus Winter School is held from 22-26 February and is digital and open to all.

Arqus Winter School 2021
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UiB

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"The climate crisis is a global challenge, but it affects how we function as citizens and in individual cities. That is the theme of Arqus Winter School 2021, says Research Fellow Jakob Grandin at Centre for climate and energy transformation (CET).

He has helped develop the seminar, which is a collaboration between the seven European Arqus universities. The winter school itself is part of the course ARQUS220, but most of the program is open to all and can be followed via Zoom. Centre for climate and energy transformation (CET) and Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities have collaborated on UiB's contribution.

"We have almost 20 excellent lecturers from different academic communities, and the lectures are held at a level that should be accessible to all," says researcher Scott Bremer from Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities.

 Interdisciplinary cooperation

During the week, participants will learn about climate impacts, risks and vulnerability; from the city up to the European scale.  The lecturers come from a number of different European countries, and the climate director in Bergen municipality, Stina E. Oseland, will also participates in one of the sessions.

Scott Bremer believes that the interdisciplinary perspective make the winter school extra interesting.

"When we talk about climate risk, it is always good to view the situation through a different lens. We need to come together and discuss to find the right solutions."

He also believes that it is useful that the participants come from areas that are affected differently by the climate crisis.

"For the participants from Granada, the climate crisis is about heat waves, whereas here in Bergen we worry about landslides. But by gathering and discussing on the basis that we are all Europeans, we may find that the situations have similarities. For example, both Bergen and Granada must take climate change into account in urban planning. Both citites need research communities and decision-makers to work together to find the best solutions," he says.

Academia and crises

Academia's place in the social challenges is a recurring theme of the Arqus Alliance.

"The world faces a number great challenges today. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, many democracies are in danger, we will see great migrations in the years to come and we must learn to deal with fake news and AI. The Arqus Alliance looks at how we in academia will deal with the major challenges, says Jakob Grandin.

The Arqus alliance was founded in 2019 and will develop outstanding higher education and research in Europe. Arqus is one of a total of 41 European Universities consortia selected and funded by the EU as part of the Erasmus+ programme.

"The aim is to strengthen the education of critical and committed global citizens. We need that in the years to come," says Grandin.