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Climate change: causes, health impacts and responses

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €299 per programme


Climate change poses serious challenges for humans around the world. Global warming is perceived as one of the biggest global health risks of the twentieth century which could have a range of effects on human health. Global warming is thought to have an impact on vector-borne disease, water-related disease, heat- and cold- related deaths, allergies, air pollution and malnutrition. The projected increases in extreme climate events such as floods, droughts, and possible intense tropical cyclones could also have wide ranging direct and indirect effects on health. Although the effect of climate change will be experienced worldwide, its impact will not be evenly distributed among people. In low income countries, climate change is believed to further exacerbate existing vulnerability to disease and food security risks, as their populations are, for instance, more reliant on agriculture, more vulnerable to droughts and have a lower adaptive capacity. As climate change can be seen as an amplifier of existing and emerging health risk, it might increase health inequalities and is likely to widen the health gap between rich and poor.

Course Duration and Dates
This is a one week course running from the 13th of July until the 17th of July, 2020. Due to COVID-19, we have decided to cancel all on-campus education this summer. The courses will be scheduled in Central European Time [CET] so it is possible that some time slots are not ideal for people in certain time zones. However, when scheduling the courses, we will try to take into account the different time zones as much as we can.

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 2 ECTS according to Maastricht University’s guidelines. For further information see the MSS terms and conditions

• To explore historic, current and future changes in our climate system.
• To review the uncertainties underlying (the modeling of) future climate change
• To examine some key impacts (human health, biodiversity loss) of climate change on human societies and natural systems.
• To explore climate mitigation and climate adaptation strategies (incl. Paris Agreement).

Prof. dr. Pim Martens

Animals and sustainability – that’s what Pim Martens (Maastricht Univerity) is fully committed to. He is a mathematician, science activist and is an advocate for better relationships between animals and humans.

Pim Martens is professor of ‘Sustainable Development’ at Maastricht University (Netherlands) and is a founder of AnimalWise, a “think and do tank” integrating scientific knowledge and animal advocacy to bring about sustainable change in our relationship with animals. He is also a member of the Board of House of Animals.

Instruction language

This is an interdisciplinary course, so students from all Faculties can join. However, knowledge on systems science and sustainability science is recommended.

Recommend literature
• Climate Change and the Health of Nations: Famines, Fevers, and the Fate of Populations by Anthony McMichael
• Global Climate Change and Human Health: From Science to Practice by George Luber (Editor), Jay Lemery (Editor)

• Textbook: t.b.d.

Teaching methods
▪ Assignments ▪ Lectures ▪ Papers ▪ PBL ▪ Presentations ▪ Research ▪ Skills ▪Trainings ▪ Work in subgroups ▪ Working Visits

Assessment methods
▪ Assignment ▪ Attendance ▪ Presentation ▪ Written exam

Not available for applying at the moment
Not available for applying at the moment