Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3251: Climate Justice

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Catriona McKinnon (Convenor)

Available via distance learning


Climate change is one of the most urgent issues facing humanity. In the last thirty years climate scientists have made significant progress in understanding the causes and likely impacts of climate change. Climate change as a physical phenomenon will be a fact of life for many generations to come. It impacts on human society at all levels, from individual households in drought ravaged regions to world leaders seeking global agreements and institutions fit to coordinate action worldwide so as to minimise the risks of climate catastrophes for our children and the further future.

Given how changes to the climate bring changes to the political, social, economic, and cultural terms on which human beings must live together, climate change is clearly in the domain of political philosophy and ethics. For example, climate change engages - and often challenges - principles of equality, responsibility, legitimacy, and sustainability that have become well rooted in contemporary political philosophy.

This module will provide you with an advanced introduction to the central and emerging issues in the now fast-moving field of climate justice. The focus of the module will be on the political and ethical problems that climate change creates, and on how these problems might be tackled in ways that satisfy the demands of justice. The module will be taught in seminars that will include mini-lectures, student presentations, work in break out groups, and larger plenary-style discussion. 

Module createdLast revised