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, we will discuss the paradoxical role of business and climate change.  The following questions are addressed: How does climate change affect business?  How can businesses develop climate change strategies?  How do carbon markets work?  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?

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 relationship between business and climate change, discussing their negative impact and their potential contribution to reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases.  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 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 preparation and revision

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Trial debate1 debate during the 1 hour tutorial1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10Verbal

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
Group report - Trial preparation36Written report - max 3,500 words1, 3, 5-10Written
Jury participation - Participating in the debate and casting your individual votes for the remaining debates4Cast your vote as a jury member for 3 debates and participating in one debate (each of them equals 1%, totaling 4% of this assessment)1-9
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
Group report - Trial preparationIndividual essay (40%) 2,500 words1, 3, 5-10July
ExaminationSame as original (60%) 2 hours1-8August 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.  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)
  • 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:

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date