Skip to main content

Special Topics in Environmental Policy and Culture (390-0-22)


Climate Change Law and Policy


William Charles Geoffrey Burns
1808 Chicago Avenue
Office Hours: call or email

Meeting Info

Harris Hall L28: Mon, Wed 12:30PM - 1:50PM

Overview of class

This course examines the potential role of the law in confronting climate change from an institutional and policy perspective, examining the role of treaties, national legislation (in the United States), sub-national responses and judicial and quasi-judicial fora. Among the topics that will be addressed include the science associated with climate change, the role of key international climate treaty regimes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, national and state and local responses to climate change in the United States, the role of litigation in confronting major emitters, and the potential role of climate geoengineering approaches. It will also seek to help students develop critical skills of analysis of treaty provisions, legislative language, and court decisions, public speaking and cogent writing.