International Environmental Protection

General Information
See course description for details
prof. Joost Platje
Number of Hours: 
Wednesday 10:00 - 15:00
Preliminary requirements: 


Course Description: 

- 11.10.2023. 5h 

- 25.10.2023. 5h 

- 22.11.2023. 5h 

- 29.11.2023. 5h 

- 13.12.2023. 5h 

- 17.01.2024. 5h


1. The importance of transaction costs and property rights for sustainable development. development.

2. Sustainable energy supply and climate change

3. Elements of institutional capital creating capacity and capability for sustainable development: value in the public domain, institutional strength, good governance, institutional equilibrium.

4. Priorities in sustainable development and the level of economic development.

5. Environmental goods (e.g., climate change, biodiversity, energy and food resources, air, water, etc.) - private, common, public or club goods?

6. Stakeholder strength and their priorities in a multilevel governance perspective.

7. Project for essay and presentation – sustainable environmental strategies and technology needs assessment supporting socio-economic development

Aims of the course: 

W1. Students possess general knowledge regarding issues connected with environmental protection at the international and global level. They are able to use proper terminology, know the main categories of environmental problems as well as core directions of solutions.

W2. Students possess knowledge on the main sources of environmental problems, as well as the importance of legal rules, environmental policy,  new technologies and good governance for solving trans-boundary and global environmental problems.

W3. Students possess knowledge on the importance of property rights and transaction costs for analysing and solving environmental problems at the international level.

W4. Students know and understand the notion and idea of sustainable development, its main assumptions as well as the concept of policy for sustainable development at the international and global level.


U1. Students are able to analyse and critically discuss sources, consequences and solutions for trans-boundary and global environmental problems.

U2. Students are able to apply skills obtained in order to observe and interpret phenomena of international environmental problems.


K1. Students are able to co-operate actively in teams, and apply knowledge and skills obtained to propose solutions for international environmental problems.

K2. Students are able to apply transaction costs and property rights theory in order to propose a framework for good governance for international environmental protection.

Teaching methods: 

Interactive lectures using a problem-based approach and different forms of discussion. Case study analysis and team work. Multimedia presentations. Writing and presenting an academic paper.

Evaluation & Completion: 

Short essays (50% of mark). Presentation and discussion (50% of mark). In case of failing to fulfil these requirements, the student has to take a written test in order to pass.


Writing assignment:

Use Harvard System of referencing


  1. Choose a global environmental problem. What challenges exist in the creation of a global system to manage this problem? (Use a property rights and transaction costs approach). What win-win opportunities and trade-offs may appear with social and economic goals of chosen countries with different levels of development.
  2. Report on a Technology Needs Assessment for Climate Change for a chosen country. The report is the basis for the presentation.

The starting point of analysis is designing a participative process for a country (stakeholder involvement) in order to establish developmental goals for the next 10 or 20 years. Based on these developmental goals, strategic sectors will be identified. Afterwards, an analysis should be provided to find out which technologies should be used in order to achieve the developmental goals at the least possible CO2 emission and other damage to the environment (biodiversity, renewable and non-renewable energy resources, pollution). Finally, factors for successful implementation of use of such technologies should be identified.

The report should contain:

    1. Identification and assessment of developmental priorities for the chosen country.
    2. Identification of sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
    3. Identification and assessment of opportunities for emission reduction by use of technology.
    4. Identification and assessment of most effective technologies.
    5. Identification and assessment of strength of different stakeholders as well as issues of institutional change (using the notions of property rights and transaction costs) which may hamper or support technological change.


Assessment of the written assignments:

  • Reference system, structure (well-described aim, well described conclusion).
  • Use and application of theoretical notions.


Assessment of presentation:

Content (50 points): Proper introduction, Well-defined aim, Well-organised and structured, Analytical depth, Focused, Understandable for the audience, Clear and logical conclusion

Visuals (20 points): Powerpoint (1997-2003), Readability of slides, Relevance of keywords and pictures, understandability of slides, Proper information density, Proper use of colours

Delivery (10 points): Time management, Voice level, Speed of presentation, Engagement of audience, Body positioning

Answer to questions (20 points): Understandable, Proper content


Length of presentation: 20-30 minutes

Discussion: 15 minutes

Size of group: 2-3 students

Report: 1500-4000 words

Delivery: The report should be sent at least 4 days before the presentation, while the presentation itself should be sent at least 2 days before the presentation date by e-mail to:

Basic Literature: 
  1. Meissner, Dieter, Saving the climate creating a sustainable energy supply – essential boundary conditions for a sustainable economy in the 21st century. (Lecture). See .
  2. Platje, Joost, Institutional capital - capacity and capability for sustainable development, Opole, 2011.
  3. Sandler, Todd, Regional Public Goods, Aid, and Development, 2007, available at
  4. UNDP, Handbook for conducting technology needs assessment for climate change, 2010, available at
Additional Literature: 
  1. AMUNC, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (15th Conference of the Parties – The Copenhagen Protocol) Background Paper A. Setting the Targets, 2009. Available at:
  2. Coase, R.H., The problem of social cost, Journal of Law and Economics, October 1960. Available at:
  3. Lomborg, B., Global crises, global solutions, Cambridge University press, Cambridge, 2010
  4. Woerdman, E., Implementing the Kyoto mechanisms: political barriers and path dependence, RUG Doctoral Dissertation, 2002. Available at:



1.     International Society for New Institutional Economics,


2.     Joint Implementation Network,


3.     United Nation Development Programme,


4.     United Nation Framework on Climate Change,