Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Climate change is an urgent global challenge, receiving increasing attention from politicians, advocacy groups, media and the general public. The business sector influences climate change, and is influenced by it. As contributors to greenhouse gas emissions companies have responsibility for the problem, and are asked to find solutions. As users of natural resources, businesses will face greater uncertainties and resource scarcities. Given these interconnections, companies create proactive climate strategies and seek to shape public policy and public opinion. This course intends to familiarize students as tomorrow s leaders with some key elements of climate change the science, the evolving policy, the role of business, and the climate change negotiations.

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • understand the basics of climate change.
  • understand the role of regulations and international approaces to addressing climate change (in particular, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC).
  • be able to evaluate business strategies for coping with climate change.
  • describe and explain the roles and diverging interests of parties involved in global climate policy negotiations, including governments, industry associations, global companies, and non-governmental organizations.  
  • formulate a negotiation strategy for climate change negotiations (students in Track B).
  • apply negotiation skills and develop consensus solutions in an international negotiations setting (students in Track B).

Credits: 6

Schedule: 02.03.2022 - 11.05.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Tiina Ritvala, Sanna-Liisa Sihto-Nissilä

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course content is organized in two parts (3+3 ECTS). The first part is common for all students, and it provides basic knowledge of climate change, regulatory frameworks (UNFCCC, in particular), and corporate strategic responses to climate change. The second part, where only students in Track B participate, centers around the Model UNFCCC CEMS Climate Change Strategy Role Play. It involves a unique two-day simulation of UN climate negotiations, where students from the participating European universities play the roles of government, NGO and industry representatives organized in one of the member universities.

    The number of students accepted in Track B with the simulation is limited. Preference is given to CEMS students (priority group 1) and students of the Master s Programme in Creative Sustainability (priority group 2). Students wishing to participate in Track B must submit motivation letters (instructions on the MyCourses homepage of the course). 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Depending on the track, based on class participation, assignments, exam and simulation (Track B only).

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    80h (3 ECTS) or  160 h (6 ECTS)


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    As indicated in the syllabus

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    13 Climate Action


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Check MyCourses space for information. Business Negotiations course (77E25000, 3 ECTS) is recommended for the students in Track A. Students are admitted to the course in the following priority order: 1) CEMS, 2) Creative Sustainability / MIB, 3) Other Aalto students.

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Spring IV-V

    2021-2022 Spring IV-V

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.