Climate Change SqAs developing and developed nations gather at COP26 later this month to agree global efforts to avert runaway climate change, the fifth run of a popular, free online course will offer insights into one of our most promising climate technologies.

The five-week course, taught by leading experts at the University of Edinburgh, will explore carbon capture and storage (CCS), a set of technologies that can radically rein in CO2 emissions and help nations reach net zero by 2050.

The course, which has seen nearly 18,000 participants from across the world sign up for previous runs, begins on 25 October and places CCS in the context of climate change, global energy and economics, the use of fossil fuels and global climate policy. The world’s first such course to cover CCS and climate change, it has been developed for those with no prior knowledge.

Watch the introductory video and register

David Pickering, a geologist based in the UK, who recently completed the fourth run of the course, said:

I’d recommend this course to anyone looking for a gateway into the science behind carbon capture and storage and the important role it can play in the energy transition. Leading up to the critical climate talks at COP26 in Glasgow this November, I was looking to further educate myself in this sometimes misunderstood but potentially vital tool. The course is very accessible to non-scientists too and is a fantastic way to make an informed decision about the climate solutions that are within reach.

The course is a balanced, pragmatic look at how CCS has an important role in the trilemma of balancing the affordability of energy, the security of supply and its impact on climate change. It provides an overview of the basic concepts and terminology before diving deeper into key engineering principles, geological storage requirements and recent developments in this rapidly developing sector.

The course also helps to objectively explain the challenges for hard to decarbonise industries and how CCS can help by removing this excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Case studies, exercises and online discussion forums help to enrich the learning experience.

Ross Compton, marine scientist, said:

I took the online Carbon Capture and Storage course to increase my basic understanding as CCS becomes an increasingly important element of my job role. The course was very accessible and delivered in a clear and balanced way highlighting both the scale of the challenges, as well as the range of technological solutions that have the potential to be scaled up. Presented by experts in their field, but pitched at a level that means anyone can understand the basics, I would recommend the course as essential learning for anyone with an interest in our energy systems and understanding the road to decarbonisation.

What will you learn?

Course participants will learn about:

  • how to protect the atmosphere, with CCS technology, from an excess of CO2;
  • the uniqueness of CCS to complement other low-carbon technologies;
  • the potential to make fossil fuels “safe to use” in the context of the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015;
  • key sectors of the global economy, where CCS can contribute to deep reductions in emissions;
  • how CCS can unlock carbon negative solutions, which will need to be used before mid-century;
  • the scientific principles of climate mitigation technologies;
  • the key elements of geology for permanently, and safely, disposing of CO2 underground;
  • the international state-of-play and scale of the industry in the 21st century.

What is a MOOC?

The University of Edinburgh has a range of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which are freely accessible and open-licensed short courses delivered online. On completion, there is the option to gain a Verified Certificate. More details


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