Geopolitics of Climate Change

Course content

The course comprises the following main themes:

  • The global distribution of impacts of climate change and of technological options and capacities to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • An introduction to the institutions of climate change governance at global, regional and local scale.
  • International climate change negotiations and policies and the climate change regulatory frameworks.
  • International relations and security issues related to climate change.

MSc Programme in Climate Change
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to give an interdisciplinary introduction to the major topics involved with geopolitics of climate change:


  • Refer to the main conclusions of the IPCC reports.
  • Understand the role of the global climate change governance institutions, such as the UNFCCC, the IPCC and WMO.
  • Knowledge of the major players in regional and local climate change governance, such as the nation states, cities, companies, and civil society.
  • Knowledge of EU policies on climate change, renewable energy and GHG-reduction.
  • Knowledge of the Kyoto Protocol and the principles for allocating emission quota.
  • Knowledge of the Paris agreement.



  • Understand the major issues of the climate change negotiations within the COP-process.
  • Understand the working of the regulatory CAC and MBI frameworks.
  • Understanding of types of conflicts associated with climate change, of securitization of climate change, and of climate refugees and their status.



  • Discuss climate change policies at local, regional and global scale.
  • Compare and evaluate climate change policies and the regulatory frameworks.
  • Discuss climate change as an issue in international relations and security, for example referring to economic impacts, international legal implications, destabilization, ethical and technological aspects.

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Written assignment, during course
Type of assessment details
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Re-submission of written assignment, 20 minutes oral examination. The written assignment must be handed in prior to the re-examination week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Emilie Claire Vansant   (3-7472854f78767d3d7a843d737a)
Saved on the 07-11-2023

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