Law 591 - Climate Change Law and Policy

Sean B. Hecht

Sean B. Hecht

Co-Executive Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice
Co-Director, UCLA Law Environmental Law Clinic
B.A. Yale, 1988
J.D. University of Michigan, 1995
UCLA Faculty Since 2003
Course Description:

Global climate change has emerged as the most significant environmental, if not societal, issue of our era. This seminar will explore cutting-edge public policy, legal, and scientific challenges involved in assessing and reducing the causes of climate change, and adapting to projected impacts. The class will provide an opportunity to learn about climate law and policy (including materials on climate justice and equity) at the international, national, and subnational levels. The syllabus emphasizes U.S. law and policy with a key focus on California’s climate policy leadership.

Grades will be based in part on participation and weekly reaction papers. In addition, students may choose to submit either a term paper that may be used to satisfy the Substantial Analytic Writing (SAW) requirement, or three shorter papers over the course of the semester.  Prior environmental law coursework or background will be helpful, but is not required.

Course Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students should:

  • Understand, at a high level, basic physical, social, political, and economic dynamics, and related values and interests, that inform climate change law and policy.
  • Be familiar with basic policy approaches and tools to address climate change (including greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation to impacts) available at international, national, and subnational levels.
  • Be familiar with major legal and regulatory tools used to address climate change by international bodies, the U.S., and California.
  • Be familiar with the range of materials and sources that bear on climate change policy, and be able to identify strategies to fill knowledge gaps.
  • Develop a deep understanding of at least one specific issue relating to climate change law or policy, through focused research.

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Sean Hecht 21S 591 SEM 1 F 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 3.0 No Per instructor's discretion
  This course may shift to hybrid instruction (i.e., students have the option of participating in-person or remotely) at some time during the spring semester.