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University of Exeter Business School

Business of Climate Change

Module titleBusiness of Climate Change
Module codeMBAM844
Academic year2023/4
Module staff
Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

0.5 days

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

We will discuss the paradoxical role of business and climate change, addressing the following questions: How does climate change affect business? How can businesses develop climate change strategies? How can business potentially benefit from climate change? How do carbon markets work, and what are 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? How does business (and society at large) adapt to climate change? This module will address such questions, exploring the relationship between business and one of the, if not THE, most important question of our time.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between business and climate change, discussing the negative impact of businesses and their potential contribution to reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. Students will gain academic and practical literacy in the climate change domain, understanding the political context that can shape companies’ environmental behaviour as well as issues relevant to business managers, policy makers, NGO activists and citizen-consumers.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Apply analysis to policy options for addressing climate change
  • 2. Compare and evaluate different policies and strategic options, and determine their effects on the behaviour and performance of firms
  • 3. Discuss the behavioural issues associated with carbon reduction
  • 4. Explain the political economy associated with climate change

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Discuss 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

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Develop capacity for critical thought and reasoned discussion,
  • 7. Develop skills for addressing complex problems
  • 8. Develop written and verbal communication skills

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to Climate Change and its Science
  • Carbon Markets Opportunities and Limits
  • Changing Behaviours for a Changing Climate?
  • The role of technology
  • Climate Change and Company Strategy
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Climate Change and Ethical Issues
  • Economic Futures: Path dependencies and alternatives

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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities15Lectures (6 hrs x 2.5 days) = 15
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2Lecturer feedback on written assignments and discussions Assessment for learning exercises
Guided Independent Study33Reading, Research, Writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In class discussions3 hours1-5, 8, 9Peer feedback
Short written case analyses – in groups2 x daily assignments each of 500 words1-6Written feedback on every assignment the morning after

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
Summative essay of 1000 words50 1000 words1-6 Written, within normal feedback timescale
Individual presentations and Q&A5015 minutes per person7-10Oral & written feedback after the presentation

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Summative essay of 1000 words1000 words1-6Next reassessment window
Individual presentation and Q&A, 15 minutesIndividual presentation, 15 minutes7-10Next reassessment window

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Module reading will be from a variety of sources with many made available through the Module website. Each lecture has a mandatory reading list and a complementary one.

The following books, are references that can support the majority of the topics covered in this module.

  • Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2015). Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bansal, P. and Hoffman, A. (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment Oxford: OUP (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)
  • Hulme, M. (Ed.). (2019). Contemporary Climate Change Debates: A Student Primer. Routledge.
  • 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:

Key words search

Climate change, net-zero, business strategy, environment

Credit value5
Module ECTS


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date