Climate Change: Strategies and Role Play (Model UNFCCC)

ENE470 Climate Change: Strategies and Role Play (Model UNFCCC)

Autumn 2024

  • Topics

    Climate change is one of the biggest problems we face today. How can we fix this problem? And, what does climate change and the fight against it mean for doing business? 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 different countries and real-world companies, we invite guest speakers from industry and climate policy circles, and we present and discuss in class. The course is a joint initiative of several CEMS schools, which offer the course in parallel every Spring. The course ends with a three-day role play called "Model UNFCCC". At this event, students from all participating CEMS schools come together (physically, in a different city) and represent different parties in a simulation of global climate negotiations.

    While ENE470 is a CEMS course, everyone is welcome to join. In the unlikely event that the number of students joining the course exceeds the maximum number of students NHH can send to the role play, CEMS students will have priority.

    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. Note that while there is some financial support for expenses related to attending the role play, students need to pay the majority of expenses themselves. Participation at the Model UNFCCC is not mandatory, but an integral part of the course and highly recommended. Those who do not participate at the role play complete Modules 1-3 in the same way as the other participants, but are required to complete an alternative assessment element in Module 4.

    Welcome to this unique experience!

  • 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 can:

    • 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

    General competence

    Upon completion of the course the student can:

    • work in a team in a challenging, dynamic, and rewarding environment
    • reflect on and navigate ethical questions in a very realistic setting

  • Teaching

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

  • Restricted access


  • Recommended prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity


  • Assessment

    Individual 3 hours Midterm Home Exam (40%, individual grade), approximately in week 10.

    Background presentation (20%, team grade), in groups of 2-4 students, approximately in week 12.

    • The students will be working on the presentation approximately in week 10 and 11.

    Position paper (30%, team grade).

    • The students will be working on the position paper approximately in weeks 14-18, in the same groups as for the background presentation.

    Final paper (10%, individual grade).

    • The students will work on the final paper after the role play (Model UNFCCC), thus approximately in weeks 20-21. The paper will be due around two weeks after the role play. Students who do not participate will be required to write an essay about the role of the UNFCCC in fighting climate change.

    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. Will be offered Spring 2024.

Course responsible

Assistant Professor Paul Pelzl, Department of Business and Management Science