The policy process: Climate policy

This course provides an introduction to the policy process and core economic concepts of public policy analysis with a focus on their application in climate policy. Climate change has been characterized the “greatest market failure that the world has seen” (Nicholas Stern). Efforts for crafting public policy responses are being made at multiple levels of governance, cut across and affect a wide range of traditional policy fields, and are still relatively new. How has the climate change problem been put on political agendas? What are key policy instruments for mitigating climate change? What are the actors, actor constellations and institutional settings for climate policy at different levels of governance? What is the state and trend of climate policy in the world regions with the largest share in global greenhouse gas emissions?

The first part of the course introduces basic policy process theory, the substantive fundamentals of climate change mitigation policy, and basic economic policy analysis tools. In the second part, students will apply these concepts in policy projects developing presentations and policy papers on empirical climate policy in Europe, California, India, and the UNFCCC climate negotiations. Students will select their projects at the beginning of the term to enable in-depth preparation of their presentation and final paper throughout the semester. Guidance on the preparation of the presentations and policy papers will be provided at the beginning of the course. In addition, students will be assigned two memos (1000 words each). While the course introduces and applies several economic concepts for policy analysis, there will be no formal calculus.

This course is open to 1st year MPP students only.