This class introduces students to key concepts and topics in contemporary climate policy. Starting with the broader topic of limits to growth and sustainability, as well as a review of the impact of climate change, we examine transformation pathways and the scenario method and consider how to balance climate change mitigation benefits (where the impact of climate change was avoided) as well as the costs. The course examines the climate economics approach to policy design, discussing policies such as carbon pricing and renewable energy support. A particular focus of this class is on the political economy perspectives of policy instrument design, as well as on climate policy more broadly – this being particularly relevant given the significant levels of state intervention required for achieving global decarbonisation and the resulting challenges to current state capacities. The second half of the course considers international climate policy (in particular the United Nations climate change regime) and the role of ethics in climate policy.
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.