ENP-36306 Climate Governance


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Course coordinator(s)dr. IJC Boas
Lecturer(s)dr. AP Richter
dr. IJC Boas
prof. dr. R Leemans
dr. EH van der Werf
Nine de Pater (Milieudefensie)
AL Zhu
Examiner(s)prof. dr. R Leemans
dr. IJC Boas
dr. AP Richter
dr. EH van der Werf

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

The course requires basic knowledge on environmental science and global change, environmental policy, and environmental economics. Students are expected to have active knowledge at the level of introductory courses, such as ESA-23306 Introduction to Global Change, ENP-34306 Environmental Policy: Analysis and Evaluation, ENR-22806 Principles of Climate Change Economics and Policy, and ENR-21306 Environmental Economics for Environmental Sciences.


This course provides critical insight into the political and econonomic processes that govern climate change. It consists of six topics:
- the development of climate policy on a sub-national, national and international level, from a political and economic perspective;
- the political dynamics emerging from a new international climate agreement;
- the role of non-state actors in climate governance;
- major theories and concepts relevant for the analysis of climate governance: regime theory, fragmentation and poly-centric governance; game theory; behavioral economics; discourse; the science-policy interface;
- economic incentives and instruments for climate policy;
- the governance of specific areas of climate policy, including sub-national and non-governmental initiatives (mitigation and adaptation policy).

By engaging with these six topics, the course centres on the trend in climate governance that is gradually moving from predominantly state-driven negotiations and hierarchical governance instruments to a type of climate governance characterised by diversity and fragmentation. The first type includes UNFCCC negotiations and instruments with a central role for the state, such as carbon tax and the EU ETS. The shift to diversity and fragmentation has set-in in the recent years and reflects a trend in which various climate-related institutions start to overlap, and more non-state actors (such as companies, citizens) and lower-levels of government (such as cities) are claiming a pro-active role.

Topics are illuminated from the political and policy perspective by the Environmental Policy group (ENP) and from the economic perspective by the Environmental Economics and Natural Resources group (ENR). The Environmental Systems Analysis group (ESA) provides a contribution on the international science-policy interface.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain major theories, concepts and models from political science and economics which contribute to the understanding of climate governance;
- apply these theories, concepts and models to specific cases and areas of climate governance;
- explain the role of scientific research and the science-policy interface in climate governance;
- critically reflect on the institutional and economic processes that influence the dynamics of climate policy;
- critically reflect on the ways in which climate governance can be transformed and further developed.


- lectures;
- studying the course literature;
- assignments for tutorials;
- individual essay assignment.


- written test with open questions (50%);
- individual essay (50%).
To pass both parts requires a minimum mark of 5.5


See course guide.

Compulsory for: MCLClimate StudiesMScE: Spec. E - Climate, Society and Economics5MO
Restricted Optional for: MCLClimate StudiesMScD: Spec. D - Human-Environment Interactions5MO