Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Climate Policy

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

Human-induced climate change is a defining political challenge of our time. With the Industrial Revolution, humans have been able to enjoy unprecedented wealth, health, and longevity, but the ecological effects of industrialization are also massively negative. The challenge is now to transition from an economy based on fossil fuel extraction and land exploitation, to an economy based on renewable energy and with zero net greenhouse gas emissions. How such a transition is to take place involves political leaders, public administration, business, and civil society, and thus constitutes a fundamentally political question.

This course will introduce the students to key empirical and theoretical work on the policies that have been proposed, agreed, and implemented to tackle human-induced global warming. Emphasis is put on international developments and key emitting countries such as China, the US, and the European Union. The course also discusses the politics of climate change, including social movements, institutions, theories of international fairness, and public opinion.

Student engagement is expected throughout the course. Students will be expected to take part in lectures and seminars by responding to questions online, writing short in-class papers, discussing in pairs, giving feedback on the work of other students, and other forms of interactive learning.

Learning Outcomes


After completing the course, the student has knowledge of

  • the largest global sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the principal policies intended to reduce them
  • key developments in the international political response to climate change, including key years, meetings, organizations, and agreements
  • the main concepts and scholarly debates related to major existing climate policies, specifically the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, and the European Union´s Emissions Trading Scheme
  • how and why climate policies differ across major emitting countries, including domestic opportunities and constraints
  • important theories of fairness in relation to climate change
  • the main non-governmental actors influencing the development of climate policy


After completing the course, the student can

  • account for and present key events, institutions, and actors in international climate policy
  • explain the rationale and function of the main national and international policy measures to curb emissions
  • compare the climate policies of two major emitting countries
  • explain different theories of fairness related to climate change

General competencies

After completing the course, the student can

  • use their insights to contribute to public discussions about climate policies
  • write argumentative texts discussing different climate policy options

Required Previous Knowledge


Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

  • AORG108 (10 ECTS)
  • GOV108 (10 ECTS)
  • AORG109 (10 ECTS)

Access to the Course

Open to all students at the University of Bergen

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, student writing, seminars, peer feedback.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Online quizzes. The online quizzes may be taken as many times as necessary, but must be completed by the set deadlines. 

The compulsory assignment must be approved in order to take the exam. Approved compulsory assignments are valid in the current and following two semesters.

Forms of Assessment

The exam consists of three parts. All parts must be completed.

  • Mid-term essay, 1500 words (+/- 10%) (30%)
  • Final essay, 3500 words (+/- 10%) (60%)
  • Peer feedback (10%)

Grading Scale

Graded A-F  

Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester

Reading List

The reading list will be ready before 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. 

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.  

Course Administrator

The Department of Government at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme. 

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Exam in three parts

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Mid-term essay

      Submission deadline
      20.03.2023, 14:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Final essay

      Submission deadline
      31.05.2023, 14:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Peer feedback

      Submission deadline
      02.05.2023, 14:00