STIA-412 Climate Science and Policy
Spring for 2015-2016
Climate change is a global environmental, social, technological and economic challenge. Responding to this challenge will fundamentally affect global energy systems, development strategies, investment patterns, and distributional equity. This course examines the nature of the climate challenge from multiple perspectives in order to frame the climate change policy design process currently being deliberated around the world.
We begin by studying the science and impacts of climate change, discerning controversies from uncertainties. We then turn to the role of carbon in the energy system and in forests, the technologies available for greenhouse gas mitigation, and the economics of climate change. We then move into a detailed discussion of the policy options to address climate change, including a close study of policy implementation to date around the world including the role of carbon markets, cap and trade, and carbon taxes. We will examine how climate change can be addressed in the developing world—both the least developed countries and the emerging economies—including the role of technology transfer and the clean development mechanism. We will cover both the history and the future of the international climate change regime, with a focus on current issues under negotiation as countries work towards a new international climate change treaty.
The goal of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive look at climate change science and policy using methodological tools and theoretical framings from multiple disciplines, including international relations and diplomacy, energy and environmental policy and law, economics, science and technology studies, and the earth and atmospheric sciences.
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