[IGA 457M: International Climate Change Policy]

The module will examine the evolution of multilateral attempts to address climate change. The primary focus will be on mitigation (i.e., emissions reduction), but we will consider policy for adaptation, climate finance, and geoengineering, as well. The module will incorporate research and analysis from the disciplines of political science, international relations, economics, and law. Readings will include primary sources (i.e., the texts of international climate-change agreements), as well as published and unpublished research papers (some from the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements). We will study in some detail the major new international agreement concluded at the U.N. climate-change conference held in Paris in December 2015, as well as subsequent efforts to elaborate the Agreement.  Students will gain familiarity with formal and, to a lesser degree, informal processes through which national governments cooperate to achieve environmental goals. As such, the module will be useful for students considering careers in international governmental organizations (IGOs) or internationally-oriented NGOs—especially those focusing on the environment. Students will gain considerable insight into climate-change policy as such, and the course will be very valuable for students who specifically wish to work in this field. Finally, while this is not a course in legal scholarship or in negotiation, we will read and analyze the texts of international climate-change agreements carefully. Such experience could be of use, again, for those students who wish to work in IGOs.

Note: Likely offered Spring 2020.


Robert Stowe





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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2018-2019 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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