SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH223888
Module Leader Michael Mikulewicz
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to provide an overview of climate justice (injustice) and to demonstrate understanding and critical thinking on the key issues that underpin the understanding of climate justice. This module is packaged around providing a holistic understanding of climate injustice and human rights to life explored via addressing equity and equality. The implications, complexities and trade-offs between climate change and poverty are examined. This module will use as its foundation the history of the climate justice movement and critique thereof. Controversial issues at the core of the climate justice movement will be examined by exploring issues such as challenging current economic models and theories and analysing failures (Kyoto, CDM and MDGs). Viewing climate change via a sustainable energy development lens i.e. equitable low carbon development will provide the basis for understanding different views associated with positioning of climate justice. The module ends with exploring opportunities for moving forward including difficulties associated with climate finance and the creation of a workable framework/s for climate justice.


The taught syllabus will cover the following areas: Climate Injustice, Human Rights, Development and Poverty Exploring issues around human rights to a decent standard of living, the injustice issues faced by impact of climate change, vulnerability, poverty, equity and equality. Emerging critique and work of the climate justice movement Transition from environmental justice to climate justice, definition, historical timeline and critique of grass roots movements, activism and current policy drivers, change and influence. Climate Justice Examination of the principles and philosophy that underpin the need for climate justice with a focus on the links between climate change, development and poverty. Exploring controversial concepts and theories (Kyoto, CDM, MDGs). Equitable Low Carbon Development Examining the role of the public and private sectors in the adoption and uptake of approaches to protect our environment and addressing issues of equitable access to energy. Inter-generational justice, compensatory justice, distributive justice and procedural justice examined. Climate Finance Overview of the opportunities for moving forward including difficulties associated with climate finance and the creation of workable framework/s for climate justice including win-win strategies

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:-1. Develop insight into climate injustice from a human rights perspective (A6).2. Discuss and critically evaluate the emerging critique and work of the climate justice movement (A6)3. Demonstrate a critical insight into the philosophy, importance and controversy of climate justice (A6).4. Critically discuss the implications, complexities and trade-offs between climate change and poverty (A6, A7).5. Demonstrate an understanding of climate justice and equitable low carbon management. (A6).6. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles, approaches and tools to sharing the burden of climate change via climate finance, business models, govt approaches. (A7, A8).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be taught by a programme of lectures providing a holistic view of resource use and sustainability on a global scale. The programme will be backed up by a series of seminars with guest speakers on specialist subjects as well as presentation, analysis and discussion of global case studies which require the active participation of student. GCU Learn facilitated independent/directed learning and face to face discussion and seminars will deepen the students understanding and enhance their ability to critically assess the subject matter.

Indicative Reading

Atmospheric Justice: A Political Theory of Climate Change Steve Vanderheiden, 2009, OUP The Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World (New Frontiers of Social Policy) Mearns and Norton, 2009, World Bank Publications Climate Ethics: Essential Readings Eds. Gardiner, Caney, Jamieson, Shue, 2010, OUP A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy J.Timmons Roberts and Bradley Parks, 2006, MIT Press Electronic Resources Encyclopaedia of Sustainable Development, Development Studies World Bank

Transferrable Skills

Written report skills Appraisal and analysis Critical thinking Evaluation and synthesis of case study material Discussing and debating skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Independent Learning (FT) 84.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Critical Analysis Report (1500 -2000 words)
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 45% Problem Solving Exercise