Climate change: Policies and Negotiations (Model UNFCCC)

ENE470 Climate change: Policies and Negotiations (Model UNFCCC)

Autumn 2023

Spring 2024
  • Topics

    Climate change is one of the biggest problems of today and tomorrow. Without rapid action, a strong rise in global temperatures, sea levels and certain natural disasters will be unavoidable. What does this mean for doing business? Companies contribute to climate change but also suffer from its consequences. On the upside, climate change poses great opportunities for selected industries. The outcomes of global climate negotiations play a vital role for doing business, and global players are heavily invested in trying to influence these negotiations. This course discusses the economics of climate change with a focus on doing business, and analyses global climate policy such as the Paris Agreement. The approach is hands-on: we check out the policies of real-world companies, we invite guest speakers from industry and climate policy circles, and we present and discuss in class. The course is offered in parallel in other CEMS business schools and ends with the Model UNFCCC, in which students from all participating schools come together and represent different parties in a simulation of global climate negotiations. Module 1 introduces climate change and climate policy, Module 2 focuses on business and climate change, in Module 3 we get ready for the Model UNFCCC and in Module 4 the event take place.

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course the student will:


    • understand the causes and consequences of climate change
    • have knowledge about policies to address climate change
    • possess tools to analyse the effect of climate change and climate policy on different types of businesses in a globalized world
    • understand how companies can cope or even take advantage of climate change
    • understand the relationship between corporate strategies and public policies in a climate context, including common goals and potential conflicts
    • have experienced the diverging interests of various stakeholders such as government officials of diverse countries, industry lobbyists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)


    Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:

    • design and evaluate a green business strategy that tackles problems and uses opportunities that come with climate change and is grounded in stakeholder support
    • critically evaluate climate policies and policy suggestions by various stakeholders
    • identify and apply strategies for climate change negotiations
    • negotiate and find a consensus with students from other countries with different cultural backgrounds, thereby experiencing the global dimension of the climate challenge

  • Teaching

    • Regular lectures
    • Guest lectures by industry and climate policy experts
    • Student presentations and feedback sessions
    • Role play with all participating schools (Model UNFCCC)

  • Restricted access

    Due to the limited number of roles in the final Model UNFCCC, the number of participants is restricted to maximum 20. CEMS students have priority.

    Please see (copy url)

  • Recommended prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity


  • Assessment

    • Individual 3 hours Home Exam (40%, individual grade)
    • Background presentation (20%, team grade), in groups of 2-4 students, approximately in week 6
      • The students will be working on the presentation approximately in week 4 and 5
    • Position paper (30%, team grade)
      • The students will be working on the position paper approximately in week 5 and 6, in the same groups as for the background presentation.
    • Individual reflection paper (10%, individual grade)
      • The students will work on the individual reflection paper after the Model UNFCCC simulations, thus approximately in weeks 9-11. The paper will be due around two weeks after the simulations.

    All elements must be taken in the same semester.

  • Grading Scale


  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    The slides are self-contained and are the most important material.

    Recommended readings:

    1) Richard S.J. Tol: Climate Economics

    2) Bill Gates: How To Avoid a Climate Disaster

    Additional, clearly voluntary reading: FitzRoy & Papyrakis: An Introduction to Climate Change Economics and Policy

    Deeper reading, for the enthusiasts: Cullenward & Victor: Making climate policy work

    Selected articles, further book chapters and online sources (such as


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered Spring 2023.

Course responsible

Assistant Professor Paul Pelzl, Department of Business and Management Science