STV4424 – Climate, Energy and Environmental Governance

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Course content

Coping with climate change, offering affordable, secure and reliable energy services and securing a clean and biodiversity rich environment are pressing challenges to modern societies. The three issue areas are closely interlinked, but have different political dynamics.

This course will explore how the three issues are dealt with at multiple levels of decision-making:

  • inter- and transnationally
  • within the EU
  • in domestic policy development
  • at the local level

Analytical tools and frameworks will be presented that can enable us to better understand and explain how the three issue areas have evolved over time, and why we see differences across countries and levels of governance.

Particular attention will be given to climate governance at multiple levels. We will explore how the climate policies of Norway and a group of other countries have evolved over time.

Throughout the course we will give special attention to how business and industry influence policy developments and what elected politicians can do to steer decision-making and implementation.

Learning outcome


You will:

  • learn about similarities and differences across the three policy fields: climate, energy and environment, with a main focus on climate change.
  • get an overview of key actors and political arenas related to the three policy areas.
  • get familiar with key conceptual frameworks and theories applied to understand climate, energy and environmental governance.
  • learn about actor-centred as well as structurally centred approaches and explanations and how the two categories of explanations can complement each other.
  • learn about how global and European politics and policies may influence lower levels of decision making.
  • grasp how decision-making at various levels and in adjacent policy arenas may be interlinked.


You will be able to:

  • analyse adoption, diffusion and evaluations of climate, energy and environmental policies. 
  • analyse key actors’ room of manoeuvre in various policy areas.
  • identify conditions that may facilitate and hamper business to influence policy and governance.
  • identify the features that may enable or hinder politicians to govern.
  • explain why Norwegian climate, energy and environmental governance in some respects differ and in other respects resembles what we see in other parts of the world.


You will require the competence to:

  • distinguish between normative judgement and scientific explanations of policy and politics in three contested issue areas.
  • understand aspects of energy, climate and environmental policy that tend to be overlooked by the dominant scientific disciplines in these issue areas (engineering, economy and natural science).


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Apply for guest student status if you are admitted to another Master's programme.

For incoming students

All Master's courses in Political Science must be registered manually by the Department, they will not appear in Studentweb. Contact your international coordinator at UiO.


Lectures and  one seminar.

In the seminar you will present a brief memo on your  course paper and provide comments to the other students' memos.

Lectures are held during five weeks, with examination in the sixth week.


Policy brief and term paper.

The policy brief:

  • must be between 1200-1600 words
  • is to be written mid-way in the course
  • shall advise certain actors on how to deal with a specific political problem
  • will not be graded, but you need to pass

The term paper:

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Ask for an explanation

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Spring 2017

This course is not given on a regular basis


Spring 2017

Teaching language