The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the law that has developed in response to climate change. The course will begin with a brief introduction to the science behind climate change and the impact climate change is currently having on many communities across the world. Particular attention will be paid to the unique effects climate change is having on indigenous populations. Next, the course will explore international law related to climate change. Specifically, students will learn about the Kyoto Protocol and the EU ETS. Students will also learn about other international efforts to address climate change, such as the development of a carbon exchange in China. Students will then turn their attention to domestic efforts to address climate change by studying regional, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and state, such as the many Californian initiatives, efforts. Students will also study pending bills in Congress related to climate change. Finally, students will study tribal solutions to climate change, such as the Nez Perce’s development of a carbon portfolio through carbon sequestration.
Grades will be based on student participation and completion of a final research paper. Students may complete their advanced writing requirement through this course. This course is approved for and counts toward completion of the Environmental and Natural Resources Certificate.