Law and Economics of Climate Change

10 Units

This course will provide students with advanced and specialized knowledge of the evolution and architecture of the international climate regime, including the 1992 United National Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1997 Kyoto Protocol, 2009 Copenhagen Accord and 2015 Paris Agreement. Special attention will be paid to the new framework for mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and technology under the 2015 Paris Agreement. The course will also critically assess Environmental Economics theory and its application to climate change policy. Students will examine and evaluate differing approaches to domestic implementation of international obligations on climate change through case studies on Australian efforts at carbon pricing and the European Emissions Trading Scheme. Students will also be exposed to a range of controversial debates, reflecting the highly politicised nature of international Climate Change law.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School

Not currently offered

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced understanding and knowledge of the legal principles, rules and institutions of the international climate change regime.
  2. Demonstrate an informed and critical understanding of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  3. Demonstrate a reflective understanding of the significance of notions of intergenerational justice, sustainability and the common but differentiated responsibility principle within the international Climate Change Regime.
  4. Make policy recommendations in relation to mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and/or technology.
  5. Appropriately communicate the findings of their analysis to a non-specialist audience.
  6. Work individually and as an integral part of a `virtual’ team.

The topics in this course include:

1. Introduction to Climate Change Science: The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

2. Environmental Economics in the Context of Climate Change.

3. Evolution and Architecture of the International Climate Change Regime:

     3.1 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

     3.2  The Kyoto Protocol

     3.3  The ‘flexibility mechanisms’ under the Kyoto Protocol

     3.4  The Copenhagen Accord

     3.5  The ‘Road to Paris’.

4.  A new paradigm of international cooperation: The Paris Agreement.

5.  Mitigation, Adaptation, Climate Finance and Technology in the Paris Agreement

6.  Climate Change Policy: Case Studies from Australia and the European Union.

  • This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or Master of Laws or Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Development programs.
Assumed Knowledge Nil
Assessment Items
  • Participation: Contributions to Online Discussion Forum
  • Online Learning Activity: Online Presentation
  • Written Assignment: Policy Brief

Contact Hours

WebLearn GradSchool

Self-Directed Learning

Online 36 hour(s) per Term

Timetable 2017 Course Timetables for LAWS6038
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