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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Climate Change and Environmental Policy
Module Code LG249
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Markus Pauli
Semester 2: Sadhbh O'Neill
Autumn: Sadhbh O'Neill
Module TeachersMarkus Pauli
Sadhbh O'Neill
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This course provides students with a survey of domestic and international climate change and environmental policies and politics. This module will explore the dynamics that characterize the global response to climate change and environmental challenges and the links between international negotiations and climate change and environmental politics at the national level. Students will learn about the different challenges and opportunities faced by developed countries and emerging economies.

Learning Outcomes

1. Familiarity with key policy dimensions of climate change, environmental challenges and related areas.
2. Ability to critically evaluate contemporary domestic climate, environmental, and energy politics in high and middle-income countries.
3. Ability to appraise historical and contemporary global governance mechanisms to manage climate and environmental challenges.
4. Understand systematically the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation in key sectors and possible mitigation, adaptation, nature and wildlife conservation responses to these challenges.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Lectures, Small-Group Discussions & Workshops, Simulation
Independent Study228No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction and Context

Actors, interests, power
Actors, interests, institutions and power asymmetries in climate change and environmental policies and politics at national and global levels.

Environmental & climate change politics in industrialised countries
Politics of low-carbon transition and environmental protection in industrialised countries: US, Germany, Ireland, and EU.

Environmental & climate change politics in emerging economies
Climate change and development politics and policies in large emerging economies: China and India.

UN climate regime & world environmental & climate change politics
The UN climate regime, environmental protection and world politics.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentBook or Documentary Review: Write a 1,000 word review of one (or few) chapters from one (or more) books from our reading list OR one of the selected documentaries.25%n/a
AssignmentAnnotated Bibliography: Write a 1,000 word review of five to seven articles/ book chapters (mainly academic sources, but relevant public sector or civil sector reports are fine too) on a focused climate change or environmental policy question of your choice.25%n/a
AssignmentEssay: Write a 2,500 word paper (excluding footnotes and bibliography) addressing a clearly defined, focused research question of your own choice. For more details on how to choose a good research question – which is more about a puzzle than a topic! – please see the respective presentation and material.50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Hulme, Mike: 2020, Contemporary Climate Change Debates: A Student Primer, Routledge, London,
  • Romm, Joseph: 2018, Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2nd, University Press, Oxford,
  • The science and politics of global climate change: 2019, Dessler, A.E.; Parson, E.A., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Helm, Dieter: 2020, Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change, William Collins,
  • Jordan, Andrew; Viviane Gravey; Camilla Adelle.: 2021, EU environmental policy: contexts, actors and policy dynamics, Routledge,
  • Kraft, Michael E.: 2017, Environmental policy and politics, Routledge,
  • Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik.: 2011, Merchants of doubt: How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming, Bloomsbury,
  • Ramesh, Mridula: 2018, Climate Solution: India’s Climate-Change Crisis & What we can do about it, Hachette,
  • Sternfeld, Eva (Editor): 2017, Routledge Handbook of Environmental Policy in China, Routledge,
Other Resources

As discussed with Ken (McDonagh), Darren (Clarke) & Susan (Hegarty) this is a new module in the Undergraduate program Climate and Environmental Sustainability, offered by the School of History and Geography.
Programme or List of Programmes
BCESClimate & Environmental Sustainability

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