Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhysical Geography
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Neville Nicholls


Climate change is as much a geopolitical issue as a scientific issue, and geopolitical considerations will affect the way the world deals with climate change. The responsibility for, and impacts of, climate change vary geographically. These variations influence how countries deal with climate change, which leads to different approaches and coalitions in climate change negotiations. Climate change is likely to change geopolitical alliances and may cause global security concerns. The unit provides a fundamental understanding within a geographical framework of the geopolitical considerations that affect progress in this vital area, as well as the geopolitical consequences of climate change.


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

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the meaning and history of geopolitics, and the historical linkages between geopolitics and climate.
  2. demonstrate a basic understanding of the science of climate change and its impacts, and the economic and ethical considerations that influence our experience of and responses to the issue;
  3. demonstrate the ability to argue creatively, effectively and responsibly on a problem of climate change decision-making ;
  4. demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the geopolitical dimensions of climate change impacts, mitigation actions, and adaptation alternatives in a range of national and international contexts;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of the likely consequences of climate change on current geopolitical alliances and interests;
  6. demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the international fora within which the geopolitical aspects of climate change (mitigation and adaptation) are negotiated, and the current status of the negotiations in these fora;
  7. demonstrate an ability to apply these understandings, theories and concepts in an appropriate problem-oriented context;
  8. 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)

Workload requirements

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

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