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LAW 1007: Climate Change Law and Policy
Spring 2018 • Section 01 • CRN 22567

Course Description

Global climate change is threatening to cause severe, widespread and possibly catastrophic changes to our planet. This seminar will consider the implications of climate change for domestic and international law and policy. International negotiations are scheduled to take place in Copenhagen in December 2009, climate change legislation is pending in Congress, and the EPA is poised to begin regulation of greenhouse gases under existing law. How should such legislation be designed in order to accomplish the radical restructuring of the U.S. economy that will be necessary in order shift energy production away from our current heavy reliance on fossil fuels? Should it employ a carbon tax, a cap-and-trade system, or some other regulatory mechanism? How should the costs of transitioning to the new "green economy" be allocated? Should the poor receive subsidies to offset rising energy costs? How might an international agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions be structured to be both politically feasible and fair? Should such an agreement impose costly emissions reduction obligations on developing nations that are already struggling economically, when the problem has been primarily caused by those in the developed world? Who should pay the costs of adapting to those adverse effects of climate change that have already become inevitable effects that are likely to fall most heavily on the developing world? In the absence of a unified regulatory approach at either the federal (U.S.) or international level, how have advocates already begun to use existing legal structures to try to force action on climate change?We will address these and other questions in the seminar with the help of readings drawn primarily from books and scholarly articles. Students will write a series of short papers over the course of the semester based on the readings and will take an active role in facilitating class discussions.


Day/Time Location
W 10:00-11:50 AM Klein 6A

Course Details

  • Amy Sinden
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Writing
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement
  • Writing Serial

Registration Info


Environmental Law is recommended but not required.

Book List/Materials