The Business of Climate Change

Module description

This module offers the opportunity for multidisciplinary study on a topic that businesses need to be well informed. The module focuses on one problem, but one very complex and vital problem: Climate Change. Within the classes, the following questions are addressed: How does climate change affect business? How can businesses develop climate change strategies? How carbon markets work? Their limits and potential. Why do we find it so difficult to adopt less carbon intensive lifestyles? What is the role of technology? What are the ethical issues that climate change raises? What are the responsibilities of business?

Full module specification

Module title:The Business of Climate Change
Module code:BEM3016
Module level:3
Academic year:2017/8
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Marcus Vinicius Gomes - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the negative impact on climate change and the potential contribution that business can make to reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, an addressing issues of adaptation. Students will gain literacy in climate change political context that can shape business as well as issues relevant to both business managers and citizen-consumers.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. apply analysis to policy options for addressing climate change.
  • 2. compare and evaluate different policies and determine their effects on the behaviour and performance of firms.
  • 3. understand the strategic options for businesses.
  • 4. comprehend the behavioural issues associated with carbon reduction.
  • 5. understand the ethical dimensions of climate change and the extent to which ethical values can be effectively, adopted by consumers and companies, and incorporated into government policies.
  • 6. appreciate some of the political economy associated with climate change.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. develop capacity for critical thought and reasoned discussion,
  • 8. develop skills for addressing complex problems

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. enhance independent study skills,
  • 10. development of written communication skills.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours20 hours10 X 2 hour Lectures
5 hoursFortnightly 1 hour x 5
Independent study125 hoursCore and supplementary reading, trial prepartation and revision

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Trial Preparation5 hours of tutorial1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay401500 words1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10Written
Examination602 hours1-8Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
AssignmentSame as original (40%) 1500 words1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10July
ExaminationSame as original (60%) 2 hours1-18August assessment period

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to Climate Change
  • Carbon Markets Opportunities and Limits
  • Changing Behaviours for a Changing Climate?
  • The role of technology
  • Climate Change and Company Strategy
  • Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation
  • International Agreement on Climate Change
  • Climate Change and Ethical Issues

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Module reading will be from a variety of sources with many made available through the Module website.

The following books, all available electronically will be drawn on:

Bansal, P. and Hoffman, A. (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment Oxford:OUP (available online from the Forum Library)

Boehm, S. and Dabhi, S. (2009) Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets. MayFlyBooks. Available from:

Brohe, A., Eyre, N., and Howarth, N. (2009) Carbon Markets: An International Business Guide. London ; Sterling, VA: Earthscan, (available online from the Forum Library)

Gardiner, S.M. (2011) A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press. (available online from the Forum Library)

Klein, N. (2015) This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. London: Penguin Random House.

Pinkse, J and Kolk, A. (2009) International Business and Global Climate Change London : Routledge. (available online from the Forum Library)

Stern, N. (2007) The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Also available from:

Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2015). Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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