Climate change is a complex global issue that requires a comprehensive approach involving individuals, communities, governments and international cooperation. While technological advancements play crucial roles in mitigating and adapting to climate change, addressing the social and policy aspects is equally essential for effective action.
Witness the stark contrast between British Columbia’s Carbon Price Signal, enacted in 2008 and stable until the present day, and Australia’s Carbon Tax, repealed two years after it was established. The difference between British Columbia’s success and Australia’s failure is almost entirely due to how the social and policy factors were assessed and implemented.
Australia’s Carbon Tax was enacted in a polarized political environment, suffered from shortcomings in public engagement and communication and was designed in a complex way that created sector-specific exceptions which fueled public skepticism and undermined the perceived fairness of the policy. In contrast, careful design of British Columbia’s Carbon Price Signal to have broad coverage of multiple sectors, increase gradually over time, and be revenue-neutral with a special focus on offsetting the cost for low-income households has resulted in public support and policy stability through changing governments.
In a world where addressing climate change is on every local, national and international agenda, organizations need – and are actively seeking – individuals who are both passionate about climate change and have the requisite social and policy skills to facilitate success.
Only a handful of climate change graduate programs worldwide focus on these critical social and policy aspects. Tel Aviv University International (TAUi) has become the first institution of higher learning in the Middle East – in fact, the first anywhere east of London and west of Melbourne – to offer a groundbreaking M.A. program in Social and Policy Aspects of Climate Change, preparing participants for a career of impact and influence, making a significant, pragmatic difference for the future of our planet.
Climate Change is the Future (of Work)
The evolving reality of climate change is not only affecting the physical trajectory of life on our planet, but its economic and political aspects as well. The UN Paris Agreement positioned climate change as a global priority, with nearly every one of the world’s governing bodies making commitments to directly remediate climate change and mitigate its effects.
But delivering on these commitments is not purely a matter of taking action; it is dependent on taking wise action. “Only regulation and legislation that succeed in fostering public awareness and support, mobilizing individuals and communities and facilitating real behavioral change will have a long-term, measurable impact,” explains Professor Dan Rabinowitz, head of TAUi’s Cilmate Change program and a leading voice in social and environmental organizations in Israel and beyond. “The importance of individuals with developed skill sets in the policy and social aspects of addressing climate change cannot be overestimated.”
Additionally, the labor market is increasingly demanding experts with academic credentials in climate change. Governmental, industrial, financial, NGO and other private sector organizations are all instituting new positions to construct climate-related organizational policy, plan practical implementation, carry out due diligence and monitor regulatory compliance and efficiency.
As Professor Rabinowitz expresses it: “An advanced degree in the social and policy aspects of climate change is a ticket to a future-proof career, a skillset that will be in demand for decades to come – and likely beyond.”
World-Class Faculty with Real-World Credentials
TAUi’s MA in Social and Policy Aspects of Climate Change program is an intensive, interdisciplinary experience, designed to give students the ability to effect positive, lasting change wherever their career takes them. Program lecturers and mentors are chosen for their distinction in both the academic and pragmatic spheres.
Program head Professor Dan Rabinowitz, former Head of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental Studies, has served as Chairman of Greenpeace Mediterranean and Vice Chair of Greenpeace UK, is currently Chair of the Israeli Association for Environmental Justice and was awarded the Green Globe Award for life-long environmental leadership in 2016. A prolific author, Professor Rabinowitz’s most recent book is The Power of Deserts: Climate Change, the Middle East and the Promise of a Post-Oil Era.
Program lecturer Professor Alon Tal is a former Israeli MK who has founded multiple environmental activism organizations ranging from the legal to the academic. Tal received the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection’s lifetime achievement award in 2008. Program lecturer Dr. Dov Khenin, also a former Israeli MK, served on multiple Knesset committees related to environmental affairs and headed the Knesset’s social-environmental lobby. Both Khenin and Tal were deeply involved with the drafting and passing of environment-related legislation, making them ideal instructors for learning how to craft and implement climate-related policy in the real world.
Multiple TAU faculties are represented in the program, including Anthropology, Sociology, Geophysics, Law, Public Policy, Political Ecology, Development Studies and Urban Studies, and course topics range from social equity in climate change mitigation to carbon accounting to international climate policy.
The Middle East: A Climate Change Global Hotspot
From an international perspective, it’s hard to find a better place to study the social and political aspects of climate change than the Middle East. The region is not only one of the most climatically vulnerable parts of the world, but also a global center of oil and gas production. Middle Eastern countries have been the most recent hosts for the annual meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the last convention (COP27, in 2022) held in Egypt, and the upcoming convention (COP28, in 2023) to be held in the United Arab Emirates.
Israel itself is a hub of ClimaTech innovation, producing technologies in demand by its neighbors in the Middle East as well as the forward-thinking EU with its ambitious climate goals.
“Now, in Israel,” notes Professor Rabinowitz, “is the ideal time and place to obtain cutting-edge knowledge and hands-on experience in government, industry and civil society organizations whose work spans climate mitigation and adaptation.”
Take the First Step Toward Real Change
TAUi’s Social and Policy Aspects of Climate Change one-year (three semesters) graduate program is conducted entirely in English, and is open to Israeli or international students holding undergraduate degrees in any field of study.
TAUi is known for its vibrant international cohort of students and its exceptional mesh of academic excellence and hands-on experience. This diverse environment, underscored by the innovative atmosphere of Tel Aviv, both attracts and produces individuals who have an open mind, are passionate about what they believe in and are willing to work to make the ideal a reality.
If you want to make a tangible difference in the way our planet handles climate change, TAUi’s MA in Social and Policy Aspects of Climate Change program is waiting for you.
To find out more details about this program, visit TAUi’s Social and Policy Aspects of Climate Change program page.
If you can’t wait to sign up, go right to TAUi’s registration portal.