International Climate Law - Master



Mål og innhald

This course deals with the law and policy designed to mitigate climate change. The world is in a profound climate transformation and legislators worldwide seek different avenues to address this pressing issue while finding a balance between protecting nature and ensuring economic development.

In such a light and perhaps our generation¿s most important challenge, the course aims to give the student knowledge and understanding of the regulation and implementation of climate regulation and its implications for our society in international law, European law and some important national jurisdictions. Our class will sit at the intersection of several legal disciplines. International and European climate law will be combined with international trade law, sustainability and public international rules, to give the student a complete overview of this most important topic.

The course provides insight into basic principles for resource governance, sustainability and the relationship between public interests and business interests and the use of modern market instruments in climate governance.

The course¿s guiding question will be how regulation plays a role to create incentives and frameworks that deal with climate change and question whether the rules in place are well-designed and are sufficient to teach such aim.

Our course will first discuss the causes and effects of climate change and bring about an introduction behind the regulatory and policy schemes to control and limit it. This will be couple with a discussion of relevant principles of public international, environmental and sustainability law.

Of special importance to this class will be the role played by the leading international treaty on climate change: the Paris Agreement. The study of international rules will be combined with a through discussion of the EU and EEA initiatives: The EU Climate Change Law, the EU Green Deal, the "Fit for 55" 2021 Package, the EU Taxonomy, and Norwegian Climate Change instruments and policy.

Central to our course will be the way that carbon markets are organized, studying examples based on quota and taxation systems. Examples that will be discussed in class will be EU Emission trading system (EU-ETS), green certificate (Norway and Sweden), certificate of origins, etc. We will also study alternatives and jurisdictions in which climate change measures are not based on carbon/greenhouse markets, such as Australia.

Connected to this, the course will incorporate the study of carbon capture use and storage as tool to mitigate climate change.

Finally, climate change litigation and the role of courts in reviewing governmental policies, laws and the conduct of companies will also be studied.



The course will give the students a thorough understanding of the governance climate change and the interplay between climate regulation, economics and legal frameworks. Principles on environmental, public international and climate change law will be discussed. Students will learn the different regulatory and policy options available for governments and even private players to deal with climate change implications and seek to mitigate it.

In the course we will focus more specifically in:

  • Causes and effects of climate change
  • Regulatory avenues to deal with climate change
  • Relation to different legal disciplines: public international law, environmental law, energy law, corporate law
  • International, European and national rules to tackle climate change
  • Carbon markets and their functioning
  • Sectoral impacts of carbon regulation: latest trends: aviation, shipping and cross-border mechanisms
  • Financial regulation addressed to foster climate change-friendly investment
  • Climate change litigation
  • The regulation of carbon capture, use and storage solutions and its relation to carbon market


Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • Explain and analyze critically the objectives, principles and development of climate law and policy from an international and European perspective
  • Describe the principles and systems used to address climate change consequences
  • Reflect on the complexity of climate change regulation as an area in the intersection of many legal disciplines and societal goals and values
  • Apply legal principles and regulations in problem-solving in climate law on an international and national level
  • Have an understanding of the concept of green financing, its general regulation in EU law and its implications, as well as discussing the financial implications of these measures for particular economic sectors, such as energy
  • Clarify the system for emissions trading in various jurisdictions, including the EU and be capable of applying the concept of carbon markets in theoretical and/or practical settings
  • Discuss critically the role of courts when dealing with climate change litigation and distinguish between litigation vs states and litigation vs private bodies
  • Be able to present scientific and legal information to a live audience in a structured, logical and planned manner

Students will also have developed the ability to:

  • understand and engage with doctrinal, policy, and theoretical sources of different types, and to use those sources to present scholarly arguments in the fields covered by the course;
  • apply academic knowledge and relevant work to practical and theoretical problems in the fields of marine/maritime spaces regulation, and to make well-founded choices between different legal and policy alternatives;
  • find, evaluate, and refer to information and scholarly ideas and to present them in an appropriate written manner;
  • engage in debates and write reasoned responses to questions on legal and policy issues in the field of sea utilization;
  • analyze and answer practical legal problems in the marine/maritime sectors

Studiepoeng, omfang


Studienivå (studiesyklus)





Faculty of Law, University of Bergen
Krav til forkunnskapar

Three years of law studies.

For students in the master¿s programme in sustainability: Three years of university studies.

Tilrådde forkunnskapar
Good level of English language.

Combined with JUS271-2-C or JUS271-2-E International Climate Law or JUS2311 International Climate Law this course will generate no new credits.

The course is designed to be complemented by, and combines successfully with:

Krav til studierett

The course is available for the following students:

  • Admitted to the five-year master programme in law
  • Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
  • Admitted to the Master of Laws (LLM) in EU and EEA Law
  • Admitted to the master¿s programme in sustainability
  • Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
  • Granted additional right to study following completed Master in Law degree at UiB
  • Exchange students at the Faculty of Law

The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Lectures, student group presentations, and possibilities to participate in specialized seminars/conferences.

Twelve (12) lectures, one group presentation (1). Total thirteen sessions (13).

Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet
Group presentation.

The exam consists of two parts:

  • Home exam: during the course the students shall write a paper of minimum 2,500 and maximum 3,000 words on a subject provided by the course supervisor. The home exam constitutes 40% of the final grade.
  • School exam: Four-hour digital examination. The school exam constitutes 60% of the final grade.

Information about digital examination:

Exam language:

Question paper and school exam: English

Answer paper and school exam: English

A - E for passed, F for failed
The reading list will be ready 1 December for the spring semester.
According to the administrative arrangements for course evaluation at the Faculty of Law.
Hjelpemiddel til eksamen

Support materials allowed during school exam

See section 3-5 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

Special regulations about dictionaries

  • According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary;
  • Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition);
  • Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries;
  • Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden;
  • In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the usual regulations (Section 3-5) about examination support materials.
The Academic Affairs Committee (Studieutvalget) at the Faculty of Law is responsible for ensuring the material content, structure and quality of the course.¿
Associate Professor Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui
Administrativt ansvarleg
The Faculty of Law¿s section for students and academic affairs (Studieseksjonen) is responsible for administering the programme.