Professors

Richard E. Powers (Boston College)

Schedule

Tuesday
From 13:30
to 15:00
Thursday
From 13:30
to 15:00

 

Course description

Climate change and its attendant consequences present our planet with some of history’s greatest challenges. Indeed, in the future climate change will pose a myriad of fundamental problems to communities throughout the world. The displacement of human beings, indeed, in some cases entire societies and the populations of countries, is one area of particular, and growing, concern. As such, it is important to consider the legal and ethical issues surrounding this phenomenon generally and, specifically, as to those that will be forced into migrating from their homes, resulting in their becoming “climate change  refugees.” An outline of the topics to be addressed in this course includes the following:

  1. International Climate Change Law
    a.Introduction: Doubters and Deniers, Policy Challenges, and Perspectives
    b.Climate Change/International Law: Sources, Principles, and Responsibilities
    c.Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance and Oversight
    d.The United Nations, International Treaties, and Climate Governance
    e.Intersections between Climate Change Law and Human Rights and Trade Law
    f.International Market Mechanisms and National Emissions Trading Systems
    g.Looking to the Future
  2. Ethical Issues Raised by Climate Change
    a.Introduction: Environmental Ethics
    b.Ethics and Global Climate Change
    c.Science Politics and Ethics
    d.Environmental Justice, Social Ecology, and Climate Refugees
    e.Ethics, Public Policy, and Global Warming
    f.Climate Change, Human Rights, and Moral Thresholds
    g.Adaptation, Mitigation, and Justice
  3. Legal and Ethical Issues related to Forced Migration and Displacement Resulting from Climate Change
    a.Conceptualizing Climate Change Related Movement
    b.Disappearing States, Statelessness, and the Boundaries of International Law
    c.International Ethical Responsibilities to “Climate Change Refugees”
    d.The Relevance of International Refugee and Human Rights Laws
    e.Migration as Adaptation: Opportunities and Limits
    f.Climate Change Induced Mobility in Asia and the Pacific
    g.Existing Protection and Addressing Gaps in Protection

 

Learning outcomes of the course

In this course we will examine the critical issues related to climate change facing all communities internationally from both legal and ethical perspectives in order to assist individuals in evaluating the resultant challenges faced throughout the world. The central mission throughout the semester will be to familiarize students with the underlying realities that our planet must confront (i.e., climate change is taking place and there have been and will continue to be grave consequences), the legal and ethical issues that have arisen in connection therewith, the efforts that have been made to date to address this worldwide problem, and what might be done in the future. In particular, we will examine the effects of climate change on some of the most vulnerable individuals in the world, i.e., those who have been or will be forced to leave their homes, and sometimes countries, due to climate change.

A corresponding goal of the course is to assist students in understanding the core issues associated with this dilemma and provide them with the critical analysis abilities necessary to make appropriate judgments. Our focus will be on the interplay of legal and ethical obligations from the perspective of individuals, businesses and governments throughout the world, especially with respect to those members of our global society who will inevitably be forced into being displaced and becoming “climate refugees.”

A discussion-based method of instruction will be used with an emphasis on analysis and discussion. Accordingly, it is important that students read the assigned material prior to class so that a meaningful dialogue can take place during class. Active student participation is, in other words, expected in order to assist students in the further development of an orderly thought process, critical judgment, and articulate expression.

While we will address the assigned material in our class discussions, we will not spend our time together painstakingly reviewing and/or summarizing the readings in detail. Instead, we will follow the methodology reflected in the following statement made by Francis Low, former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and provost: “I am afraid that the neat, clean lecture is not mine; rather the digression within the digression. I don’t worry about finishing a prescribed amount of material, but go on whatever pace seems normal.” Thus, while we will proceed through the syllabus and assigned materials in an orderly fashion, our progress will not be at the expense of not fully exploring questions and issues raised in class and of interest to the class members.  

The introduction of real life problems will be incorporated into class discussions so that students develop the skills and judgments necessary to properly resolve legal and ethical dilemmas that they will be faced with in the future. Accordingly, current events that relate to the legal and ethical issues addressed by the course will regularly be raised in class.

 

Required preliminary knowledge

There are no prerequisites for this course as it has been designed for students without any background in law, ethics or climate change science. 

 

Teaching and evaluation methods

As noted above, the course will be taught using a modified Socratic method, i.e., a dialogue rather than lectures.  Students will be expected to read the assigned material in advance of class so that a meaningful discussion can take place while we are together. Prior to the beginning of the semester a weekly breakdown of the specific readings will be provided. On average, approximately 30 pages of reading will be assigned each week.

The evaluation of student performances and the determination of semester grades will be based on in-class test(s)/exam(s), class participation, and written work consisting of brief submissions throughout the semester, as well as a short  research paper towards the end of the semester wherein students will have an opportunity to address an issue of particular interest to him or her. The score earned on each of these three elements will account for one-third of the semester grade.

 

Bibliography

The primary course text is International Climate Change Law by Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunee, and Lavanya Rajamani, Oxford University Press, 2017. This book is available from various online sources (e.g., Amazon and Oxford University Press) in paperback and E-book formats.

Supplemental Bibliography: In addition to the course text, portions of various other books and articles relating to the subject of the course will be made available online through library reserves and/or electronically, including, but not limited to those materials listed in the Supplemental Bibliography found below.

Supplemental Bibliography for:

Climate Change and Forced Migration from an International Legal and Ethical Perspective [Venice International University, Spring 2018]

Arnold, Denis G. The Ethics of Global Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Baer, Paul. “Adaptation and Climate Change,” in Gardiner, Stephen M., et al (editors). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 247-262.

Broome, John. Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World.  W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2012.

Brown, Donald A. Climate Change Ethics: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm. Routledge, 2013.

Brown, Oli. “Climate Change and Forced Migration: Observations, Projections and Implications,” in Leckie, Scott, et al (editors). Climate Change and Displacement Reader. Earthscan, 2012, pp. 69-96.

Campbell, John and Warrick, Elizabeth. Climate Change and Migration Issues in the Pacific. UN ESCAP, 2014.

Campbell, John. “Climate-Induced Community Relocation in the Pacific: The Meaning and Importance of Land,” in McAdam, Jane (editor). Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Hart Publishing Ltd., 2012, pp. 57-79. 

Caney, Simon. “Climate Change, Human Rights, and Moral Thresholds,” in Gardiner, Stephen M., et al (editors). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 163-177.

Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al (editors). The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al. “International Climate Change Law: Mapping the Field,” in Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al (editors). The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 3-25.

Clowney, David and Mosto, Patricia (editors). Earthcare: An Anthology of Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009.

Clowney, David. “Introduction,” in Clowney, David and Mosto, Patricia (editors).  Earthcare: An Anthology of Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009, pp. 3-37.

Delimatsis, Panagiotis. “Introduction: Climate change and trade law-challenges for governance and coordination,” in Delimatsis, Panagiotis. Research Handbook on Climate Change and Trade Law. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016., pp. 1-5.

Delimatsis, Panagiotis (editor). Research Handbook on Climate Change and Trade Law. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016.

Desjardins, Joseph R. “Science, Politics, and Ethics: Global Climate Change,” in Desjardins, Joseph R. Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy (Fifth Edition). Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013, pp. 3-23.

Desjardins, Joseph R. “Responsibilities to the Natural World: Anthropocentric to Nonanthropocentric Ethics” in Desjardins, Joseph R. Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy (Fifth Edition). Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013, pp. 95-122.

Desjardins, Joseph R. “Environmental Ethics and Social Ecology,” in Desjardins, Joseph R. Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy (Fifth Edition). Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013, pp., 232-252.

Desjardins, Joseph R. Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy (Fifth Edition). Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013.

Farber, Daniel A. and Carlarne, Cinnamon P. Climate Change Law, Foundation Press, 2018.

Farber, Daniel A. and Carlarne, Cinnamon P. “Introduction,” in Climate Change Law, Foundation Press, 2018, pp. 1-28.

Farber, Daniel A. and Carlarne, Cinnamon P. “Climate Impacts and Adaptation,” in Climate Change Law, Foundation Press, 2018, pp. 211-241.

Farber, Daniel A. and Peeters, Marjan (editors). Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Vol. 1): Climate Change Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016.

Fleurke, Floor. “EU climate law and human rights: new prospects for judicial environmental activism?,” in in Delimatsis, Panagiotis. Research Handbook on Climate Change and Trade Law. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016., pp. 375-393.

Gardiner, Stephen M. “Ethics and Global Climate Change,” in Pojman, Louis P., et al (editors). Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application (Seventh Edition). Cengage Learning, 2017, p.674-689.

Gardiner, Stephen M. A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Gardiner, Stephen M. “Why Ethics?” in Gardiner, Stephen M. A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 1-48.

Gardiner, Stephen M. “Somebody Else’s Problem?’” in Gardiner, Stephen M. A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 75-102.

Gardiner, Stephen M. “Some Initial Ethics for the Transition,” in A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 399-437.

Gardiner, Stephen M. “The Immediate Future,” in A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 439-442.

Gardiner, Stephen M., et al (editors). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010.

Gardiner, Stephen M. “Ethics and Global Climate Change,” in Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 3-35.

Gardiner, Stephen M. “A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics, and the Problem of Corruption,” in Earthcare: An Anthology of Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009, pp. 347-360.

Goodell, Jeff. The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World. Little Brown and Company, 2017.

Guha, R., et al. in “Social Ecology and Environmental Justice,” in Clowney, David and Mosto, Patricia (editors). Earthcare: An Anthology of Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009, pp. 283-314.

Hampson, Francoise. “The Human Rights Situation of Indigineous Peoples in Sates and Other Territories Threatened With Extinction For Environmental Reasons,” in Leckie, Scott, et al (editors). Climate Change and Displacement Reader. Earthscan, 2012, pp. 238-246.

Hardin, Garrett. “Living on a Lifeboat,” in Clowney, David and Mosto, Patricia (editors).  Earthcare: An Anthology of Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009, pp. 626-636.

Hardin, Garrett. “The Tragedy of the Commons,” in Clowney, David and Mosto, Patricia (editors). Earthcare: An Anthology of Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009, pp. 429-439.

Hsu, Shi-Ling. “International Market Mechanisms,” in Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al (editors). The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 239- 256.

Hugo, Graeme. “Climate Change-Induced Mobility and the Existing Migration regime in Asia and the Pacific,” in McAdam, Jane (editor). Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Hart Publishing Ltd., 2012., pp. 9-35.

Jamieson, Dale. “Ethics, Public Policy, and Global Warming,” in Gardiner, Stephen M., et al (editors). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 77-86.

Jamieson, Dale. “Adaptation and Mitigation,” in Gardiner, Stephen M., et al (editors). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 263-283.

Kaime, Thoko. International Climate Change Law and Policy: Cultural Legitimacy in Adaptation and Mitigation. Routledge, 2014.

Knox, John H. “Human Rights Principles and Climate Change,” in Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al (editors). The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 214-235.

Kolmannskog, Vikram. “Climate Changed: People Displaced,” in Leckie, Scott, et al (editors). Climate Change and Displacement Reader. Earthscan, 2012, pp. 36-54.

Leckie, Scott, et al (editors). Climate Change and Displacement Reader. Earthscan, 2012.

Lin, Jolene. “Environmental law and policy in China: Responding to climate change,” in Yu, Guangha (editor). The Development of the Chinese Legal System: Change and Challenges. Routlege, 2011, pp. 295-310.

Lowe, Vaughan. International Law: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Maslin, Mark. Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2014.

McAdam, Jane. “Climate Change-Related Displacement of Persons,” in Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al (editors). The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 519-537.

McAdam, Jane. Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law. Oxford University Press, 2014.

McAdam, Jane (editor). Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Hart Publishing Ltd., 2012.  

McAdam, Jane. “’Disappearing States,’ Statelessness and the Boundaries of International Law,” in McAdam, Jane (editor). Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Hart Publishing Ltd., 2012, pp. 105-129. 

McLeman, Robert A. Climate and Human Migration: Past Experiences, Future Challenges. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Ni, Xing-Yin. A Nation Going Under: Legal Protection for Climate Change Refugees, 38 Boston College International & Comparative Law Review 329 (2015).

Penz, Peter. “International Ethical Responsibilities to ‘Climate Refugees’,” McAdam, Jane (editor). Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Hart Publishing Ltd., 2012, pp. 151-173.

Pojman, Louis P., et al. Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application (Seventh Edition). Cengage Learning, 2017.

Reid, Emily. “EU climate law and the WTO,” in Delimatsis, Panagiotis (editor). Research Handbook on Climate Change and Trade Law. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016, pp. 352-374.

Rolnik, Raquel. “Mission to Maldives: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing,” in Leckie, Scott, et al (editors). Climate Change and Displacement Reader. Earthscan, 2012, pp. 247-288.

Salawitch, Ross J., et al. Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope. Springer Open, 2017.

Shue, Henry. Climate Justice: Vulnerability and Protection. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Shue, Henry. “Climate Hope: Implementing the Exit Strategy” and “Appendix: Declaration on Climate Justice” in Shue, Henry. Climate Justice: Vulnerability and Protection. Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 319-342.

Shue, Henry. “Global Environment and International Inequality,” in Gardiner, Stephen M., et al (editors). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010, pp.  101-111.

Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter. “It’s Not My Fault: Global Warming and Individual Moral Obligations,” in Gardiner, Stephen M., et al (editors). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 332-346.

Sylvan, Richard. “Valuing Nature,” in Clowney, David and Mosto, Patricia (editors). Earthcare: An Anthology of Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009, pp. 135-144.

Thompson, Alexander. “The Global Regime for Climate Finance: Political and Legal Challenges,” in Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al (editors). The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 137-160.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “The Relationship Between Climate Change and Human Rights,” in Leckie, Scott, et al (editors). Climate Change and Displacement Reader. Earthscan, 2012, pp. 213-237.

Voight, Christina. “Climate Change and Damages,” in Carlarne, Cinnamon P., et al (editors). The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 464- 474.

Werner, Dietrich and Jeglitzka, Elisabeth (editors). Eco-Theology, Climate Justice and Food Security: Theological Education and Christian Leadership Development. Globethics.net, 2016.

Wodon, Quentin, et al (editors). Climate Change and Migration: Evidence from the Middle East and North Africa. The World Bank, 2014.

Wyman, Katrina M.  Responses to Climate Migration, by Katrina M. Wyman, 37 Harvard International Law Review 167 (2013).

Wyman, Katrina M. Are We Morally Obligated to Assist Climate Change Migrants?, 7 Law and Ethics of Human Rights 185 (2013).

Yu, Guangha (editor). The Development of the Chinese Legal System: Change and Challenges. Routlege, 2011.

Zetter, Roger. “Protecting People Displaced by Climate Change: Some Conceptual Challenges,” in McAdam, Jane (editor). Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Hart Publishing Ltd., 2012, pp. 131-150.  

 

Venice
International
Universiy

Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,
Italy

-
phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510
email: viu@univiu.org

VAT: 02928970272