Home | Overview | Schedule | Links

Introduction to Environmental Policy

Session 10

Case Study Four: Global Clilmate Change



EVR 2861 


The assigned chapter on climate change addresses a problem a bit more involved than might immediately seem apparent. To that end I have provided several film resources to help give perspectives from a variety of standpoints as well as readings focuing on the most famous of the climate treaties - the Kyoto Protocol. I suggest first reading the chapters in Cohen's book first and then sampling some of the videos. When you get to the final homework question you are going to need to use some of the reading resources I provide on Kyoto.


Cohen, Steven (2014) Understanding Environmental Policy. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, Ch. 6 & 7.

Fletcher, Susan R. and Parker, Larry (2007) Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol and International Actions. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

Frankel, Jeffrey A. (1998) "Economic Analysis of the Kyoto Protocol," Council of Economic Advisors, (July 6).

Sunstein, Cass R. (2008) "Of Montreal and Kyoto: A Tale of Two Protocols," Environmental Law Review. Vol., 38, p. 10566-10581.

Video: The Skeptical Environmentalist; George W. Bush on Climate Change; Tim Jackson: An Economic Reality Check; The Greening of Planet Earth (A Good Thing??); Robert Stavins on Beyond Kyoto: An Economic Perspective on International Climate Policy; Economics of Global Climate Change; The Kyoto Debate.


  1. According to Cohen what makes public policy complicated?
  2. What is the most important dimension of Cohen's policy framework and why?
  3. What was the policy of the administration of President George W. Bush toward greenhouse gas reduction?
  4. What does INC/FCCC stand for and what is its purpose?
  5. What is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and what are its six guiding principles?
  6. What are the three obligations required of all "developed" nations under UNFCCC?
  7. The author claims that under the Bush addminsitration there was a lack of "climate leadership." What does the author mean by this assertion and what do you understand about why the Bush administration resisted action?
  8. Identify and describe the scope of three pieces of legislation passed by the U.S. Congress to address climate change.
  9. Complete the assigned reading and watch all of the assigned videos about climate change. Thereafter apply Cohen's policy framework and identify the pertinent (1) values, (2) political issues, (3) science & technology concerns, (4) public policy design and (5) management issues that appears to be involved with hydrofracking.
  10. Now consider Florence Morestin's policy framework illustrated below. And consider the projected "cost" of implmenting a Kyoto styled climate treaty versus the perceived "effectiveness" of such a treaty as well as its "unintended consequences." Keep in mind the problem of "free riders" in this excercise.