Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

International Environmental Politics

University of Toronto

Environmental Studies

Fall 2020

Jessica Green

Undergraduate lecture

The proliferation of global institutions and international actors and the absence of central enforcement mechanisms are hallmarks of addressing environmental problems. This course examines the law, politics and policy of global environmental issues including energy, climate and biodiversity. The course aims to provide a broad overview of the key concepts, actors, debates and issues in global environmental politics. It demonstrates the complexities both of the nature of the problems as well as the solutions.

The course has five parts. First, we examine the extent of environmental degradation and different lenses for understanding its causes and solutions. Second, we examine the actors and institutions of global environmental politics, to understand how environmental problems are created, law is made, and policy is implemented. In short, we ask, "who solves global environmental problems and how?" Third, we turn to understanding the conditions under which environmental lawmaking is successful. Fourth, we look at linkages between environmental issues and economic globalization. In the final section of the course, we consider critical approaches to environmental governance.