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Study information

Business and Climate Change

Module titleBusiness and Climate Change
Module codeBEM3056
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Steffen Boehm (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module was specifically designed for flexible online learning. 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 online 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? This module will address such questions, exploring the relationship between business and one of the, if not THE, most important question of our time.

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 behavioural 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;
  • 9. 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

  • 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 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 and Teaching Activity1010 online lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity99 online or face-to-face tutorials
Guided Independent Study131Core and supplementary reading, study of additional online material, debate preparation and essay writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Participation in tutorials and online debatesRegular participation1-10Verbal

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 Report401000 words1-10Written
Individual Essay603000 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 Individual Report (40%) (1000 words)1-10July/August reassessment period
Individual EssayIndividual Essay (60%) (3000 words)1-10July/August Reassessment 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: 1


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)


Hulme, M. (Ed.). (2019). Contemporary Climate Change Debates: A Student Primer. Routledge.


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:

Key words search

Climate Change; environmental degradation; international agreement on climate change; net-zero

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date