Climate Change Law

Section 1, Spring 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 15/16
Credits: 3
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • R
  • 1000-1200
  • WB162
01/26/2023 04/27/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

This course is intended to orient students towards the state of U.S. (and, to some degree, international) law with respect to global climate change. The course will examine international, federal, regional, and state and local legal and regulatory regimes addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. Students will develop a basic understanding of the science behind climate change and the current state of the field. They will also be introduced to international frameworks for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as recent efforts to achieve mitigation through international climate litigation. The course will then turn its focus to United States law, examining the federal statutes (e.g., the Clean Air Act, the Federal Power Act, the Natural Gas Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act); regional initiatives (e.g., the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and carbon adders in regional electricity markets); and state and local statutory and common laws (e.g., state climate laws, renewable portfolio standards and other electricity grid initiatives, and public nuisance law) being brought to bear to address climate change. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role that various institutions—including legislative bodies, agencies, courts, private and non-governmental organizations—play in efforts to address climate change.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will have the option of writing one substantial research paper (due via EXPO by noon on the last day of the exam period) or a few shorter papers throughout the semester (deadlines TBD). Students planning to use a paper in this class for their Upper-Level Writing Requirement must submit an Upper-Level Writing Requirement "Special Request" Form to the Student Records Office by Feb. 27th. The form is available via LawWeb. Retroactive exceptions will not be granted.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
ABA Seminar
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, April 21, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 30, 11:59 PM