Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Climate Change Law & Policy

Northwestern University


Winter 2020

Prof. William Burns

Undergraduate lecture

Simulations,Readings from Underrepresented groups

This course examines the potential role of the law in confronting climate change from an institutional and policy perspective, examining the role of treaties, national legislation, sub-national responses and judicial and quasi-judicial fora. It will also seek to help students develop critical skills of analysis, public speaking and writing. Students will: Identify the primary causes of anthropogenically-driven climate change and likely impacts; Identify and assess the operation and effectiveness of key elements of international climate treaty regimes; Understand the role of national and subnational legislation and regulations in addressing climate change in the United States; Develop the ability to brief judicial decisions, with an emphasis on identifying the courts’ key holdings and rationale, as well as learning to assess the merits of the courts’ reasoning; Assess the potential risks and benefits of climate geoengineering approaches, and potential avenues for governance of research and/or potential deployment of such options.