Business and Climate Change
This module offers the opportunity for multidisciplinary study on a topic that many businesses (and society at large) are very concerned about. The module focuses on one problem, but one very wicked and complex problem: Climate Change. In the lectures and classes, 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.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Business and Climate Change|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
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 business managers, policy makers, NGO activists 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. Explain the strategic options for businesses
- 4. Discuss the behavioural issues associated with carbon reduction
- 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
- 6. Explain 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. Develop written and communication skills
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities||14||2 x 3 hour Face-to face lectures; 8 x 1 hour online interactive workshops|
|Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities||10||Fortnightly 2 hours x 5|
|Guided Independent Study||126||Core and supplementary reading, debate preparation and essay writing|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Debate participation||1 debate during the 2 hour tutorial||1,2,5,6,7,8,9,10||Verbal|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Individual Report Debate preparation||30||Written report max. 1000 words on the debate preparation||1,3,5-10||Written|
|Tutorial and online workshop participation||15||Actively take part in 5 tutorials, 2 lectures and 8 online workshops||1-9||Verbal|
|Individual Essay||55||Max. 3000 words||1-10||Written|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Individual Report - Trial Preparation||Individual Essay (40%) 1000 words||1,3,5-10||July|
|Individual Essay||Individual Essay (60%) 3000 words||1-10||August assessment period|
- 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
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. http://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139939676
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: http://mayflybooks.org/?page_id=21
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)
Hulme, M. (Ed.). (2019). Contemporary Climate Change Debates: A Student Primer. Routledge.
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: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sternreview_index.htm
Module has an active ELE page?
Last revision date