Checking date: 01/04/2022

Course: 2022/2023

Global Environmental Challenges
Study: Bachelor in International Studies (305)


Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
Non specific one.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
WEEK 1. Introduction. A historical perspective of environmental challenges. Human activity and the ecosystem. Climate Change and the Anthropocene. WEEK 2. Industrial exploitation and the global ecological crisis. Loss of biodiversity. Mass extinction of living species at the planetary level. Forestry and the problem of logging and illegal logging. WEEK 3. Environmental degradation, climate change and global governance: actors, causes and consequences. A brief history of global environmental meetings: from the Rio summit to the Paris agreement. Decision making in climate negotiations. WEEK 4. Climate justice and human rights. Climate change as a social issue: social inequality, women and indigenous peoples. WEEK 5. Impacts of climate change on conflicts, migration and health. WEEK 6. 2030 Agenda and Sustainable development Goals. Is another type of development possible? The welfare state and its role to face climate change. WEEK 7. Cities, urbanism and climate action. From linear economy to circular economy. WEEK 8. Technology transfer and climate negotiations. How can technical solutions be extended in developing countries, what needs to be done?. Climate change, agriculture and food security. WEEK 9. Business and international environmental governance. Greenwashing and global corporate social responsibility. WEEK 10. The Role of the European Union in global climate action. The European Green Deal. WEEK 11. Uncertainty in climate science. How can a society collapse? Demographics and climate change. WEEK 12. New and transformative narratives for climate action. Intergenerational justice: the role of youth and older people on climate action. WEEK 13. Why we need more social science and international studies research on climate change? WEEK 14. Conclusions.
Learning activities and methodology
The course will provide the theoretical and empirical foundations for understanding the major environmental challenges facing humanity. The lectures and seminars are designed to be very dynamic and the active participation of students is encouraged. The tasks that students will undertake range from short quizzes or questions in class; the presentation and discussion of texts; the identification of problems, causes, effects, consequences and impact of policies; and the proposal and defense of political positions. Students will be expected to read the assigned readings and prepare for class discussions. Discussion groups will be an important part of the course and their final grade. This is a practical course and attendance at all lectures, seminars and discussions is expected. There will be office hours every week although it is recommended to confirm them with the professor via email.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 40
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • Jeffrey Sachs. The Age of Sustainable Development . Columbia University Press. 2015
  • Kate O'Neill. the Environment and International Relations. . Cambridge University Press. 2017
  • Pamela S. Chasek . Global Environmental Politics. Routledge. 2016
  • Simon Nicholson and Sikina Jinnah . New Earth Politics: Essays from the Anthropocene. MIT Press. 2016
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
Additional Bibliography
  • Axelrod, Regina S., Leonard Downie, David and J. Vig, Norman. The global environment: institutions, law and policy. CQ Press. 2014
  • Sosa-Nunez, G. y Atkins, Ed. Environment, Climate Change and International Relations. E-International Relations Publishing. 2016
Detailed subject contents or complementary information about assessment system of B.T.
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.