Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhysical Geography
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Neville Nicholls


Climate change is a critical issue for global sustainability, requiring drastic cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and substantial adaptive action. Although the science is well understood, there are major political and economic factors that influence the giving and withholding of support in making important decisions, including equity, culture and identity. The politics of integrating and balancing multiple interests to advance the common interest of any community, at any level, reframes climate change as an issue of development. The unit provides a fundamental understanding within a geographical framework of the geopolitical and economic considerations that affect progress in this vital area.


Upon satisfactory completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a basic understanding of the science of climate change and the principles of sustainability that influence our experience of and responses to the issue;
  2. demonstrate the ability to argue creatively, effectively and responsibly on a problem of decision associated with climate change;
  3. demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the geopolitics and international/national political economic dimensions of climate change impacts, mitigation actions, and adaptation alternatives in a range of national contexts;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of market mechanisms to mitigate GHG emissions being debated including cap and trade, baseline and credit, etc.;
  5. demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of constitutive and ordinary decision processes in a range of national contexts;
  6. demonstrate an ability to apply these understandings, theories and concepts in an appropriate problem-oriented context;
  7. show skills in communication, problem solving and critical thinking.


Essay (2000 words): 50%
Tutorial paper/debate (500 words): 20%
Examination (2 hours, 2000 words): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture per week
One 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study