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Postgraduate course

International Climate Law

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Master level

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Faculty of Law, UiB

Objectives and Content

This course deals with the law and policy designed to mitigate climate change. The world is in a profound climate transformation and legislators worldwide seek different avenues to address this pressing issue while finding a balance between protecting nature and ensuring economic development.

In such a light and perhaps our generation¿s most important challenge, the course aims to give the student knowledge and understanding of the regulation and implementation of climate regulation and its implications for our society in international law, European law and some important national jurisdictions. Our class will sit at the intersection of several legal disciplines. International and European climate law will be combined with international trade law, sustainability and public international rules, to give the student a complete overview of this most important topic.

The course provides insight into basic principles for resource governance, sustainability and the relationship between public interests and business interests and the use of modern market instruments in climate governance.

The course¿ guiding question will be how regulation plays a role to create incentives and frameworks that deal with climate change and question whether the rules in place are well-designed and are sufficient to teach such aim.

Our course will first discuss the causes and effects of climate change and bring about an introduction behind the regulatory and policy schemes to control and limit it. This will be couple with a discussion of relevant principles of public international, environmental and sustainability law.

Of special importance to this class will be the role played by the leading international treaty on climate change: the Paris Agreement. The study of international rules will be combined with a through discussion of the EU and EEA initiatives: The EU Climate Change Law, the EU Green Deal, the "Fit for 55" 2021 Package, the EU Taxonomy, and Norwegian Climate Change instruments and policy.

Central to our course will be the way that carbon markets are organized, studying examples based on quota and taxation systems. Examples that will be discussed in class will be EU Emission trading system (EU-ETS), green certificate (Norway and Sweden), certificate of origins, etc. We will also study alternatives and jurisdictions in which climate change measures are not based on carbon/greenhouse markets, such as Australia.

Finally, climate change litigation and the role of courts in reviewing governmental policies, laws and the conduct of companies will also be studied.

Learning Outcomes


The course will give the students a thorough understanding of the governance climate change and the interplay between climate regulation, economics and legal frameworks. Principles on environmental, public international and climate change law will be discussed. Students will learn the different regulatory and policy options available for governments and even private players to deal with climate change implications and seek to mitigate it.

In the course we will focus more specifically in:

  • Causes and effects of climate change
  • Regulatory avenues to deal with climate change
  • Relation to different legal disciplines: public international law, environmental law, energy law, corporate law
  • International, European and national rules to tackle climate change
  • Carbon markets and their functioning
  • Financial regulation addressed to foster climate change-friendly investment
  • Climate change litigation


Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • Explain the objectives, principles and development of climate law and policy from an international and European perspective
  • Describe the principles and systems used to address climate change consequences
  • Reflect on the complexity of climate change regulation as an area in the intersection of many legal disciplines and societal goals and values
  • Apply legal principles and regulations in problem-solving in climate law on an international and national level
  • Clarify the system for emissions trading in various jurisdictions, including the EU
  • Discuss critically the role of courts when dealing with climate change litigation


The course will strengthen the student¿s understanding of different systems for governance and especially the use of market systems for influencing the behavior of legal actors

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies

Good level of English

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Three years of law studies

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

Combined with JUS271-2-C this course will generate no new credits

Access to the Course

The course is available for the following students:

  • Admitted to the integrated master programme in law
  • Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
  • Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
  • Granted additional right to study following completed master degree in law at UiB
  • Exchange students at the Faculty of Law

Note: The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and workshops

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

The exam consists of two parts, each contributing 50 % to the final mark:

Home exam: during the course the students shall write a paper of maximum 2000 words on a subject provided by the course supervisor.

School exam: Four-hour digital examination.

Information about digital examination.

Exam language:

Question paper: English

Answer paper: English

Examination Support Material

Support materials allowed during school exam

See section 3-5 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studiesat the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

Special regulations about dictionaries

  • According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary.
  • Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition).
  • Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries.
  • Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden.
  • In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the usual regulations (section 3-5) about examination support materials.

Assessment Semester

Spring. Exam only in semesters with teaching.

Resit of school exam in next semester only when home exam is passed.

Reading List

Will be available by 1. December for the spring semester and 1. July for the autumn semester

Course Evaluation

According to administrative arrangements for evaluating courses at the Faculty of Law.

Programme Committee

Studieutvalget ved Det juridiske fakultet

Course Coordinator

Associate Professor Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui

Course Administrator

Studieseksjonen ved Det juridiske fakultet

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Home exam and school exam

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Home exam

      Assignment handed out
      20.03.2023, 09:00
      Submission deadline
      03.04.2023, 14:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: School exam

      30.05.2023, 09:00
      4 hours
      Examination system
      Digital exam