The policy process: Climate policy

This course provides an introduction to the policy process and core concepts of public policy analysis with a focus on their application in climate policy. Climate change has been characterised 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 is the role of ideas and policy analysts in the policy process? 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 analysis tools and the substantive fundamentals of climate change mitigation policy. In the second part, students will apply these concepts in team projects developing joint presentations and policy papers on the empirical climate policy cases of China, California, the European Union, and Germany; and the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP-21) taking place in Paris in December this year. 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. In addition, students will be assigned two memos (600 words each).
Students successfully completing the course will have an overview of contemporary global climate policy developments and should be able to use the basic tools of policy analysis necessary to analyse climate policy. They should be able to write policy papers using a range of theoretical tools, and understand key drivers and constraints of the climate policy process from the perspective of various actors.