Business and Climate Change

Module titleBusiness and Climate Change
Module codeBEM3056
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Miss Sarah Bailey (Lecturer)

Professor Steffen Boehm (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module offers the opportunity for multidisciplinary study on a topic that many businesses (and society at large) are very concerned about. The module focuses on one problem, but one very wicked and complex problem: Climate Change. In the lectures and classes, we will discuss the paradoxical role of business and climate change, addressing the following questions: How does climate change affect business? How can businesses develop climate change strategies? How can business potentially benefit from climate change? How do carbon markets work, and what are their limits and potential? Why do we find it so difficult to adopt less carbon intensive lifestyles? What is the role of technology? What are the ethical issues that climate change raises? What are the responsibilities of business? How does business (and society at large) adapt to climate change?


Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between business and climate change, discussing their negative impact and their potential contribution to reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. Students will gain literacy in climate change political context that can shape business as well as issues relevant to business managers, policy makers, NGO activists and citizen-consumers.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. apply analysis to policy options for addressing climate change
  • 2. compare and evaluate different policies and determine their effects on the behaviour and performance of firms
  • 3. explain the strategic options for businesses
  • 4. discuss the behavioral issues associated with carbon reduction
  • 5. discuss the ethical dimensions of climate change and the extent to which ethical values can be effectively, adopted by consumers and companies, and incorporated into government policies
  • 6. explain the political economy associated with climate change

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. develop capacity for critical thought and reasoned discussion,
  • 8. develop skills for addressing complex problems

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. enhance independent study skills,
  • 10. develop written and communication skills

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to Climate Change and its Science
  • Carbon Markets Opportunities and Limits
  • Changing Behaviours for a Changing Climate?
  • The role of technology
  • Climate Change and Company Strategy
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Climate Change and Ethical Issues
  • Economic Futures: Path dependencies and alternatives

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities20 hours10 x 2 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities5 hours1 x 5 hour fortnightly tutorials
Guided Independent Study125 hoursCore and supplementary reading, debate preparation and essay writing


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Debate participation1 debate during the 1 hour tutorial1,2,5,6,7,8,9,10Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Report – Debate preparation36Written report - max 1000 words on the debate preparation1,3,5,6,7,8,9,10Written
Jury participation - Participating in the debate and casting your individual votes for the remaining debates4Cast your vote as a jury member for 3 debates and participating in one debate (each of them equals 1%, totaling 4% of this assessment)1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9Verbal
Individual Essay60Max. 3000 words1-10Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual Report - Trial PreparationIndividual Essay (40%) 1000 words1,3,5,6,7,8,9,10July
Individual EssayIndividual Essay (60%) 3000 words1-10August assessment period


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Module reading will be from a variety of sources with many made available through the Module website. . Each lecture has a mandatory reading list and a complementary one.

The following books, are references that can support the majority of the topics covered in this module.

Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2015). Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bansal, P. and Hoffman, A. (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment Oxford:OUP (available online from the Forum Library)

Boehm, S. and Dabhi, S. (2009) Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets. MayFlyBooks. Available from:

Brohe, A., Eyre, N., and Howarth, N. (2009) Carbon Markets: An International Business Guide. London ; Sterling, VA: Earthscan, (available online from the Forum Library)

Gardiner, S.M. (2011) A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press. (available online from the Forum Library)

Klein, N. (2015) This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. London: Penguin Random House.

Pinkse, J and Kolk, A. (2009) International Business and Global Climate Change London : Routledge. (available online from the Forum Library)

Stern, N. (2007) The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Also available from:

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Climate Change; environmental degradation; international agreement on climate change

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date