Climate Change and the Law
Climate change has emerged as one of the major concerns influencing policy making and the law at the global, regional and national level. The course is divided into three parts.
The first part of the course will provide an introduction to
International Law and EU Law, including the principles of
international environmental law of importance to climate change law
and the sustainable development goals. Moreover, the international
climate change regime will be outlined and discussed, which
includes the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Doha Amendment. Very importantly, the Paris Agreement is examined in depth, paying attention to the adaptation, mitigation (including the issue of carbon markets) and financial aspects that need to be developed and implemented in the forthcoming years. Thus, students will in addition to the legal framework
get familiarised with negotiations and outcomes of post 2012 and post 2020 commitments.
The second part of the course will focus on the EU regime on climate change. It will mainly cover the EU competences and international commitments regarding climate change, the legislation on greenhouse gases and its relationship with other environmental legislation. In particular, this part will focus on the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) and the regulation of non- ETS sectors, including climate-related case law. As the cornerstone of the EU climate policy, a significant efforts will be put into getting the student acquaintance with the EU ETS as a model for other jurisdictions.
The third part will focus on sectoral aspects of climate change
and the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions in venues outside
the climate regime and the interaction with it. This includes the
case of international aviation and maritime transport where
specifically a comprehensive international legal framework for
controlling maritime greenhouse gas emissions has proven a
challenging task whereas several regulatory initiatives have been taken with respect to reducing emissions from the aviation sector. Crucially, this third part will also deal with the energy sector as the major contributor to climate change. Addressing climate change is very much a matter of addressing energy use as the use of fossil fuels is the dominant anthropogenic cause of global warming. The focus of the third part will be the legal challenges caused by the need to substitute fossil fuels by various alternatives (renewables, biofuels, nuclear, new forms of carbon fuels and fusion and clean coal technologies), the need for efficiency and energy savings, and the potential to render traditional carbon based consumption ‘clean’ by extracting the CO2 for storage.
The course builds upon the MA education by applying legal methodology within the specialised area of climate change adaptation and mitigation that includes both international and EU law aspects. This means that the students are requested to understand, identify, analyze and solve legal issues and questions in a complex political and legal setting that involves actors and regulatory frameworks at many levels.
The course does not require that students have followed any specific courses beforehand but it is advantagerous to have some knowledge of international law, international environmental law and EU law.
The student will be able to:
1. describe and understand the natural greenhouse effect and the way various human activities are increasing emissions of the natural greenhouse gases;
2. demonstrate knowledge of the legal and social perspectives of the climate change problem and the concept of sustainable development;
3. explain the ways and strategies that may come into play to combat climate change;
4. understand the legal regime for climate change at both the international and EU levels and the allocation of rights and obligations between the state parties;
5. identify the relevant legal sources in international and EU law on climate change related matters;
6. analyze and solve complex legal questions within climate change law;
7. analyse the various new legal mechanism to reduce GHG emissions and promote mitigation measures within aviation, shipping, green energy and energy conservation, and the relationship between them;
8. provide a solid argumentation for the choice between different ways to adapt to and mitigate climate change;
9. advice on the application of new legal instruments including market based and “command and control” instruments in climate change law;
10. Elaborate arguments on the benefits and disadvantages of different policy and legal measures; and
11. understand the dynamic and the complex interface between climate and energy related legislation in international and EU law.
Lecturing by the teacher, analysis and presentation of cases and law by the students, group work, problem solving, relevant video spots from You Tube; mock exam
A Collection of book chapters, articles and extracts of report
will be made available in a digital form.
Primary legal material (Conventions, legislation and case law will be made available on the Absalon web-page
The course does not require that students have followed any specific courses beforehand but it is advantagerous to have some knowledge of International Law, International Environmental Law and EU Law.
- 15 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutesOral exam without preparation 20 minutes
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- External censorship
Single subject courses (day)
- Course number
- 15 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice
- Students enrolled at Faculty of Law or holding a pre-approval: No tuition fee
- Professionals: Please visit our website
Please see schedule for teaching time
- Faculty of Law
- Beatriz Martinez Romera (23-676a6679776e7f33726677796e736a7f337774726a7766456f7a7733707a336970)
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Courseinformation of students