Transatlantic Climate Change and Energy Law

Course content

New pilot project course supported financially by the Jean Monnet Programme.


Individual governmental entities such as the European Union and the United States, their member states, as well as the European Economic Area (EEA) and its members, are involved in trying to reduce the impacts of climate change and move away from fossil fuels.  There is much to be learned in understanding what actions the EU, EEA, and US are taking, the reasons for those actions, and whether improvements can be made.  Analysing and comparing the various approaches will render new ideas for how best to approach the climate change and energy -related issues and, it is hoped, spread the wealth of experience that is being learned on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The course builds on the Bachelor degree both as far as international, european law and will illustrate the use of the comparative method in practice. The course does not require that other Master courses have been followed.


The activities include several innovative components:

  • Live teleconferencing sessions every Monday from 16.15-18, including week no 12, where students will learn about International/EU/US as well as Denmark/Colorado/Norway responses to climate change and the energy transition;
  • Student preparation and presentation of policy papers [students in the three locations will be organised into “teams” to work collaboratively to prepare a document that: (a) compares various policies; (b) recommends potential new policies; and (c) assesses the opportunities and risks associated with implementation of the new policies). Students will meet in person with their peers in Copenhagen two days in week no. 17 (23-24 April 2019), and together in their “teams” present briefings to the various audiences. Seminar expenses to be paid by the Jean Monnet Programme;
  • Field trip to Samsø – 2½ days during the week no 17 (25-27. April 2019). Travelling and accommodation expenses paid by the programme.
Learning outcome

The evolution of EU and US climate change policy and law has been uneven, with the US often lagging behind.  Meanwhile, the EU has provided the world steady and serious leadership.

In recognition of the need for the “two sides” to better understand the other’s point of view, The purpose is to work together in 3 regions in an effort to increase their respective students’ understanding of the respective policies of each governmental entity. With these “test cases” in hand, the course  is focused specifically on comparing, analysing, and learning from what has happened and is happening at International, EU, and US levels, as well as in several member states including Denmark, and Norway and the US the state of Colorado. The decision to choose Colorado, Denmark, and Norway has been taken deliberately because of the three states’ unique experiences relating to climate change and the energy transitions that are needed. 


Case-work illustrated by 3 countries – Norway, USA (Colorado) and Denmark. Using teleconferencing software, each professor will “participate in” all three “classrooms,” that is to say in Copenhagen, Denver, and Oslo. There will be group work and student – presentations during a 2 days seminar where students are exchanged and present on location (CPH in 2019, Denver 2020, Oslo 2021) including teaching professors. The seminar is followed by 2½ days excursion – in Denmark to the renewable island Samsø.

A detailed reading list has been prepared. The litterature covers both international law, EU law and national law, and includes individual book chapters, articles and references to homepages. Most literature will be uploaded.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min.
Oral exam based on synopsis, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 178,25
  • English
  • 206,25