Climate Change and Energy Law


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

  • Climate change poses an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet, necessitating action from legislators and decision-makers at the international, EU, and national levels. This course focuses on International and European Union (EU) law designed to address the challenges posed by climate change and the legal framework for transitioning key energy sectors from fossil fuels to green alternatives. The transition to a low-carbon future will be examined, without neglecting domestic law, such as the case of Denmark and other significant legal systems. Primarily, it is the use of conventional energy sources in the electricity, heating, and transportation sectors that drives the growth of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). The need for raw materials and critical minerals is key to develop clean technologies and influences geopolitical balances in the fight against climate change's impacts. The balance between climate law and energy law holds paramount importance in global affairs and state powers. However, it can also be a source of conflict, inefficiencies, and a hindrance to legal efficacy. This course will also explore legal challenges' processes, design thinking, decision analysis, and legal design concerning energy and the conception of infrastructures, presenting, and discussing various perspectives.

    The course will be of interest to law students aspiring to become future practitioners in law firms, public authorities, or within international, EU, and national organizations, as well as NGOs focused on climate change and energy concerns. In the current Anthropocene Era of transformation, the law needs to be designed to effectively address climate change while promoting sustainable growth and innovation. The upcoming generation of legal professionals and scholars must be well-prepared to regulate emerging clean energy technologies.

Learning objectives


  • The United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement, the Copenhagen Accord, the Glasgow Climate Pact (GCP) as implemented by the parties are the some of the relevant legal instruments
  • Aspects of Climate Change, Biodiversity Law, and Human rights (REDD and REDD +) linked to Energy Projects
  • The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the International Energy Agency (IEA’s) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD’s), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their role at the global level with reports/initiatives on new regulatory instruments greening the energy sector
  • Knowledge on opportunities posed by renewable energy sources and other new energy technologies to address the threats posed by climate change with a legal perspective – focusing on, i.e., on the EU’s Climate and Energy Packages, the European Green Deal (EGD), the Fit for 55 Legal Framework Package, the EU Critical Raw Material Act
  • Batteries and low-carbon energy transition: circular economy regulations
  • The importance of lithium, cobalt, and other critical minerals to achieve a low carbon future and human rights challenges (i.e., Child labor)
  • The Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the EU Emission Trading System (ETS), the Taxonomy Regulation, the Carbon Boarder Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the new hydrogen regulation, the role of the nuclear in a low-carbon Europe, and the regulation of Electric Vehicles (EV) in the EU
  • The role of the EU as a global actor in climate change and energy law and as a legal person representing the 27


  • Master the terminology and concepts of the field
  • Apply the relevant rules and the way of interpretation
  • Identify and bridge the gap between rules protecting the environment and those protecting human rights on the way in which to enforce climate change substantive law through the involvement of civil society in the procedural dimension of law
  • Interpret and apply rules of the relevant climate law in energy rectors
  • Present and explain an analysis of a theoretical or practical problem in a convincing and appropriate manner


  • Put in perspective the climate and renewable energy law in the context of the effects of globalization on law
  • Present and explain the legal challenges related to the design of climate change law at international and EU levels
  • Understand the market based instruments used in UNFCCC as well as in the promotion of renewable energy
  • Understand the legal conditions for the use of specific renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy technologies, wind turbines and biofuels
  • Understanding spatial planning regulation/decision-making – as well as the protection of international protected areas – as extremely important aspects to the advancement of commercial scale renewable energy facilities

Type of instruction

  • Lectures

Extent and expected workload

  • 270 hours



Name of examClimate Change and Energy Law
Type of exam
Oral exam
20 minutes exam
Permitted aids
Without aids
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingExternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleKlimaforandringer og energiret
Module codeJUR-SM-47-22
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
SemesterAutumn and Spring
Language of instructionEnglish
Empty-place SchemeYes
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Education ownerLL.M. (Master of Laws)
Study BoardStudy Board of Law
DepartmentDepartment of Law
FacultyFaculty of Social Sciences and Humanities


NB literature will be announced 3 weeks prior to start on semester.
The exact description of literature will be shown in the lesson plan

  • Related conventions and laws
  • Articles and excerpts to be announced during class