Climate Change Law module (LW32036)

Looks at the legal frameworks relevant to climate change. This examined across international, national, and local scales

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Module code


The international legal framework on climate change sets up certain obligations on countries. It does so to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of global warming. How each state responds and implements these obligations varies. This depends on its capacity and its vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Implementation is problematic, especially with adaptation. The effects of climate change affect so many aspects of life. This means that it is difficult to give one organisation responsibility for addressing the problem. That makes national legislation difficult to draft and implement.

People harmed by climate change should be able to hold greenhouse gas emitters to account. Ensuring this has been an increasing focus of litigation in recent years. Lawyers are on the lookout globally for approaches such as:

  • stopping emissions
  • improving national policy or
  • securing damages for harm done through past emissions

Also, companies are becoming more aware of the potential financial consequences of climate change. New ESG (environment, social, and governance) reporting systems are now being set up. This is to help companies and investors understand these impacts. These will also increase transparency. They also help the financing of activities that will be more sustainable in the long run.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • gain an understanding of national, European, and international laws on climate protection. This includes the intersection between these different legal orders

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • analyse primary materials and evaluate the legal response to climate change
  • understand the law in its social, political, and economic contexts

Assignments / assessment

  • written assignment (25%) 
  • 3-hour unseen exam (75%)

Teaching methods / timetable

  • seminars
  • independent study

This module will be delivered by student-led seminars, based on prior reading, allowing a high level of engagement.

This module is available at Levels 3 and 4. You are only able to take one version of this module. Your adviser of studies will help you choose.


This module is available on following courses: