Climate Change and Renewable Energy Law - LAWS8880

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Andreas Kotsakis checkmark-circle


This module examines a range of topics which illustrate the role of law in relation to the social, political, economic and environmental challenges arising from anthropogenic climate change and the need to move to a low carbon economy, including through the promotion of renewable and other alternative forms of energy generation and conservation. This includes the operation of regulatory and governance frameworks at an international, regional and national level and the role of litigation.

The module requires introductory coverage of the international context, and explores some of the specific ethical and policy questions to be addressed in tackling climate change., The module does not cover those aspects of the international legal regulation of climate change that are covered in LW906 International Environmental Law: Legal Foundations or any coverage that there may be in LW884 International Environmental Law: Substantive Legal Aspects. The focus is on the EU and national level, and comparative analysis.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 18
Private study hours: 182
Total study hours: 200


LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law; PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay, 4,000 words (80%)
Seminar participation assessment (20%).

Reassessment methods
Re-assessment instrument: 100% coursework.

Indicative reading

• S. Bell et al, Environmental Law (9th edition, OUP, 2017)
• D. Bodansky, J. Brunee and L. Rajamani, International Climate Change Law (OUP, 2017)
• W. Burns and H. Osofsky (eds.) Adjudicating climate change: state, national and international approaches (CUP, 2009).
• M. Hulme, Why We Disagree About Climate Change (Earthscan, 2009)
• William Nordhaus, The Climate Casino – Risk, Uncertainty and Economics for a Warming World (Yale, 2013)
• E. Woerdman et al, Essential EU Climate Law (Edward Elgar, 2015)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
Specifically, on successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a deep understanding of one area of environmental law, and of the role in particular of national and regional (especially EU) law in relation to this
2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the central tensions, and debates, in relation to climate change as a policy problem, and the promotion of renewable energy in response to this problem
3. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the relative strength of competing regulatory approaches in this field, and law reform possibilities
4. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of practical considerations and an ability to apply knowledge and understanding to practical scenarios
5. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of how the issues raised in relation to climate change and renewable energy law, such as the legal response to significant forms of diffuse pollution, may apply more widely to law, especially environmental law

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Identify and critically appraise decision-making challenges from real and assumed scenarios
2. Demonstrate advanced retrieval and research skills including advanced retrieval of primary and secondary literature
3. Summarise detailed and complex bodies of information concisely and accurately, and formulate and defend an argument
4. Appropriately present work suitable to a diverse range of audiences, including clients and the policy-making community


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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