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PL4-302 Towards a Low Emission Society

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

Contents and structure

The course provides the students with detailed knowledge on the challenges of the low carbon transition from technological, economic, and societal perspectives. It is structured into three parts. Part 1 is an overview on low carbon energy and material systems. Part 2 introduces theories, concepts, and best practices for enabling the low carbon transition. Part 3 is a deep-dive into a yearly changing special topic. The knowledge gained is applied in several seminars. The students are also tasked to develop and plan a low carbon energy project, for which they also have a training on proposal development.

Learning Outcome


The student has

  • knowledge about mitigation options and policy frameworks targeting emission reductions at the demand- as well at the supply-side accounting for indirect and direct emissions and all sectors,
  • knowledge about the scale of reductions necessary in different parts of the world given their expected economic and population growth in the next decades,
  • advanced knowledge on socio-technical challenges and transition strategies to mitigate in different sectors,
  • knowledge about the decision support methods and tools used to develop mitigation strategies and advanced knowledge about methods to assess environmental consequences.


The student is able to:

  • understand and explain the resource potential, technical properties, socio-economic challenges, and environmental impacts of conventional and future key technologies.
  • apply conceptual and theoretical arguments in the discussion of issues relating to energy- and climate policy and the transition of industrial and societal systems.
  • synthesize material from a broad range of relevant areas in addressing specific questions about the transition from carbon-based to renewable energy- and material production as well as consumption.
  • describe how to stimulate change in delivering sustainable energy systems, and the difficulties in doing so, illustrating the importance of innovation by developing a proposal to a transition project.
  • utilize relevant research, demonstrate independent analytical work, and critically assess scientific research results.

General competence:

The student can:

  • understand the challenges of global energy- and material production and consumption and necessary transition processes, with respect to technological limitations, environmental considerations, and societal effects.
  • develop the skills needed to undertake independent research both in industry and in academia.
  • contribute to new ideas and transition measures that societies can implement to mitigate climate change.
  • disseminate their own comprehensive, independent research or applied research, and utilize relevant scientific theory, concepts, and terminology.

Entry requirements

Completed bachelor degree of 180 ECTS

Teaching methods

  • Interactive lectures & dedicated time for reading and watching assignments.
  • Participation in seminars and related assignments for all parts of the course.
  • Group work to develop and planning a low carbon project (groups of 1-3 students). Presentation of proposals to class to get feedback.

Compulsory learning activities

Oral presentation of the project proposal and participation in all seminars


  1. Written 4 hour school exam (multiple choice; 40%)
  2. Project proposal, including feedback (written assignment; 60%)

Grading A-F

Examination support material

Exam 1: no resources. Exam 2: draft of the project proposal

More about examination support material