Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Climate Change Law and Policy
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT OF 5,000-6,000 WORDS  80%
Semester Assessment ORAL PRESENTATION  20%
Supplementary Assessment WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT OF 5,000-6,000 WORDS TO BE RESUBMITTED, IF FAILED  80%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical development and remit of international frameworks and institutions involved in the evaluation of evidence for the link between energy use and climate change;
2. Show a critical appreciation of the implications of the development of international environmental law on the legislative and policy responses in this area;
3. Critically evaluate the role of scientific, political, economic and social influences (including environmental non-governmental organisations) over law and policy development on climate change, and on the institutions such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), set up to tackle this issue at the global level;
4. Display a detailed understanding of the policies, legal instruments and mechanisms adopted to tackle climate change at the international, EU and national levels and present well informed critical analysis of these issues;
5. Access the relevant literature and materials in this field and use them to engage in a critical discussion of the subject.

Brief description

The module will begin with an exploration of the problem of climate change and its causes. This will be followed by a study of the legislative instruments, and other mechanisms that have been developed to tackle this challenge at the international, EU, and national levels. This will involve a discussion of concepts such as emissions trading, Clean Development Mechanism, sequestration and the use of low-emissions technologies and renewable energy. The discourse in the module will be against the background of underlying factors (such as political, scientific, social, and economic) which make the development of law and policy in this area extremely difficult.


1. An introduction to meaning and causes of climate change
2. The science, politics and economics underlying climate change law and policy
3. Human rights dimensions of climate change
4. International law instruments and policy to tackle climate change.
5. The EU law and policy on climate change
6. National (UK) responses to climate change

Transferable skills

Throughout the module, students will practise and develop their skills of research, analysis, time-management, oral and written presentation. In seminars they will develop their ability to listen, understand and explain subject related topics as well as present a point of view orally and discuss their thoughts with the rest of the class; their assignments will enable them to develop their skills of independent research, analysis, presentation and writing (including data collection and retrieval, IT and time management). All learning throughout the module will be relevant to a career in any legal profession.


This module is at CQFW Level 7