Climate Change Politics and Policy

Subject ENST90004 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week.
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Admission to a Masters level program.

Corequisites: N/A
Recommended Background Knowledge: N/A
Non Allowed Subjects: N/A
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Peter Christoff


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces and analyses critical concepts and terms central to debates over climate change, including risk and uncertainty, adaptation and mitigation, burden sharing, and problems and issues relating to regimes, strategies and policy instruments for addressing global warming. The subject considers the rise of climate change as a policy problem. It reviews and analyses the history of climate change policy as it has evolved nationally and internationally. It examines the interactions between national and regional climate policy, including in Australia, the United States and the European Union. It analyses debates and concerns that have led to the evolution of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. Students will consider a range of policy instruments, including carbon taxes and emissions trading, and technologies that have been proposed or deployed to address this issue. This subject enables students to understand the evolution of a critical global environmental issue. It offers insights into technical, political, ethical and ecological issues that have framed climate change policy, particularly since 1992, and enables students to think critically about and participate in developing policy in this domain.


At the completion of this subject, students will be able to:
• Interpret the interaction between scientific, economic, normative and other influences that shape international and natural climate change politics and policy development processes; and
• Understand the key institutions and treaties that govern international and national climate change politics and policy.


An essay of 1000 words worth 20% (due mid semester) and a 4000-word research essay worth 80% (due at the end of semester); or alternatively - subject to the coordinator's approval - a 5000 word research essay worth 100% (due at the end of semester).

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

Students are advised to read the 2001 reports of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • enhanced ability to analyse and think critically about public policy;
  • enhanced conceptual understanding of the social, political, ethical and cultural contexts of policy; and
  • enhanced practical skills such as written communication and research ability.
Related Course(s): Master of Forest Ecosystem Science
Master of International Relations
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Master of Science (Geography)
Master of Urban Planning
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Climate Change
Governance, Policy and Communication

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