This course will provide an overview of the problem of global climate change and the applicable laws, including the effect of the February 2005 entry-into-force of the Kyoto Protocol. We will examine the international treaties, both the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, that create an international legal framework for climate change. Special attention will be paid to emissions trading and other mechanisms that the regime uses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. From the U.S. law perspective, the course will examine applicable federal environmental statutes, the common law, and other domestic efforts to address global warming. Finally, the course will consider the challenges posed by other international regimes, the fundamental nature of the climate change problem, and several other significant issues, including compliance, enforcement, and global equity, to the creation of an effective solution.
Climate change is arguably the most pressing and complex environmental problems facing our Planet. This course has 2 primary goals. First, the course will explore the international environmental policy issues raised by the current concern about global climate change. Second, the course will also serve as a detailed and in-depth study of how international law and international relations influence the range of possible solutions to global environmental problems. As an important part of the course, we will do a negotiation exercise dealing with global climate change.