Markus Wissen, Stefanie Lorenzen, Dr. Edlira Xhafa, Dr Frank Hoffer, Michael Stöckel, Silpa Satheesh, Mr. John Mark Mwanika, Sam Mason, Nora Räthzel, Bela Galgoczi, and Alana Dave

Just and green: labour's ecological question

  • FREE
  • 56 min
  • English
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Certificate included

What is the course about?

This FREE online course explores different aspects of the ‘jobs vs. environment dilemma’ through a lens of current struggles, as well as academic and policy debates. The different lectures, reading materials and zoom workshops discuss fundamental transformations in the ways we produce, consume and organise our economy and society.

Course structure

The course has 5 chapters. Starting from 15 April 2021, there will be a new chapter each week. After becoming fully accessible, the course will remain open for studying the course materials at your own pace.

Chapter 1: Introduction to the course

Chapter 2: Setting the context: why is the environment a labour issue?

Chapter 3: Responding to the environmental crisis and pushing for a fair transition: workers' struggles across the world

Chapter 4: Theoretical and conceptual debates on labour and environment

Chapter 5: Meeting the environmental challenge: labour-related policy proposals  

Key concepts

jobs vs. environment, green growth, de-growth, environmentalism, just transition, decarbonization, global labour transformation, natural resources, economic and ecological policies, working conditions

Learning objectives

  • At the end of the course, the participants will be able to state key facts related to the unequal distribution of greenhouse emissions.
  • The participants will also be able to discuss the underlying issues of the jobs vs. environment dilemma.
  • They will also be able to define and relate to key concepts in the environmental-labour debate.
  • The course participants will also be able to analyse and compare the merits of different analytical approaches and policy proposals related to the labour-environment topic.
  • Finally, at the end of the course, the participants will be able to assess related policy proposals.

What do I need to know?

This is a multi-disciplinary course drawing on the fields of social, political and economic sciencescourse. It is at the level of a Masters’ programme, but the concepts are explained in an accessible and well-illustrated way, so it is also possible to participate in the course using skills and knowledge acquired outside formal education. The course requires a working level of English.

Course workload

The estimated workload is 6-7 hours per chapter if you read also the key reading for each unit.


You will be able to obtain either a Certificate of Participation or a Certificate of Accomplishment for this course. The requirements for each certificate as well as scholarship possibilities are detailed in Chapter 1 of the course as well as in the last unit of the course.

Course instructors