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Study information

Business and Climate Change

Module titleBusiness and Climate Change
Module codeBEP3011
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 and engagement with local communities. This module offers the opportunity for multidisciplinary study on a very wicked and complex topic that many businesses, policymakers and communities are very concerned about: 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 and net-zero strategies? How can businesses 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? What does ‘net-zero’ mean? This module will address such questions, exploring the relationship between business and one of the, if not THE, most important questions of our time.As climate change requires immediate changes in behaviour and systems, we will also apply our new-gained knowledge in practical settings. Students will form groups to work with local businesses, policymakers, and communities to bring about meaningful climate change action.  

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 the business as well as issues relevant to business managers, policymakers, NGO activists, and citizen-consumers. Students will also gain practical skills when engaging with such stakeholders, helping to bring about meaningful change in local communities.  

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.
  • 7. explain the practical challenges faced by businesses, policymakers and communities when implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation plans

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 8. develop capacity for critical thought and reasoned discussion;
  • 9. develop skills for addressing complex problems.
  • 10. explain the practical challenges faced by businesses, policymakers and communities when implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation plans

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 11. enhance independent study skills;
  • 12. develop written and communication skills.
  • 13. develop consultancy and action research 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 Activities1010 online lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities66 tutorials
Guided Independent Study134Core and supplementary reading, study of additional online material, preparation of action research and engagement intervention, and essay writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Participation in tutorials and debatesRegular participation8,9,12 Verbal
Draft essay plan 1-page document 1-7,11 verbal
Develop a draft action research and engagement intervention 1-page document 10,13 Verbal

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 Portfolio50Indicative length: 10-15 pages 1-13Written
Individual Essay503000 words1-13Written

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 1-13July/August Reassessment Period
Individual EssayIndividual Essay 1-13July/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 articles 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. 


Böhm, S., & Sullivan, S. (Eds.). (2021). Negotiating climate change in crisis. Open Book Publishers. 


Skoglund, A., & Böhm, S. (2022). Climate Activism: How Communities Take Renewable Energy Actions Across Business and Society. Cambridge University Press. 


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. 


Nyberg, D., & Wright, C. (2022). Climate-proofing management research. Academy of Management Perspectives, 36(2), 713-728. 


Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2017). An inconvenient truth: How organizations translate climate change into business as usual. Academy of management journal, 60(5), 1633-1661. 


McIntyre, A. (2007). Participatory action research. Sage Publications. 

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