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Climate change law

New research by our top-rated Law School is urging that climate change education should be made compulsory across the core law curriculum.

The proposal is developed from previous research by Dr Kim Bouwer conducted at the University of Exeter.

Empirical study

The researchers conducted an empirical study to evaluate students’ engagement and their broader views concerning climate change education by integrating climate change and environmental law in the core curriculum at the University of Exeter.

They discovered that law students want to study climate law and the climate context of law as part of their core curriculum.

Students said that climate change education should be compulsory and taught across the programme.

As a part of the experiment, Dr Bouwer designed and delivered climate change education in Land Law and conducted the empirical study to evaluate students’ engagement and their broader views concerning climate change education. 

The empirical work was conducted by three Exeter graduates, who were law students at the time of the research - they conducted surveys and held focus groups among other students. 

Importance of climate change education

Researchers stress the importance of understanding climate constitutional legislation and the net zero, climate risk and interpretation of legal rules in the context of climate change.

Students graduating from law school will spend their working lives needing to understand and apply legal norms in the context of a society dealing with the impacts of climate change, while transitioning to ‘net zero’ carbon economies. 

Legal educators now face the responsibility of ensuring that law graduates are equipped with adequate knowledge of climate law and social context in which they will operate.

Find out more

Our Law School is a world leader in legal education, ranked 7th in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Our award-winning academic staff deliver a cutting-edge, research-led curriculum through small-group teaching that is much prized by employers. Our graduates go on to great things and include some of law’s leading figures, for example, current or previous members of the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and Members of Parliament.

Feeling inspired? Visit our Law School webpages to learn more about studying with us.