Spring 2017 - 61374 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
Climate Change and Entrepreneurialism
This class is cross-listed with LAW. LAW is the home department.
Entrepreneurial enterprises have been working to beneficially address the causes and effects of climate change for some time in fields such as clean energy, drug development, agricultural sciences and a wide variety of industrial fields. Many of today’s entrepreneurs hear the call for start-ups charting mitigation approaches, adaptation strategies, or perhaps even remedies, to climate change. Arguably a problem itself caused by entrepreneurs – how many tons of greenhouse gases can be traced back to innovative new businesses through history deploying the combustion engine, steam turbine and Haber method? - an argument can be made that harnessing the same forces to address it will be one of our most effective responses.
This course focuses on the nexus of entrepreneurialism and climate change, a scope that includes special legal, technical and business issues as well as standard entrepreneur business law and practice topics. It is designed for Law students interested in supporting and working with entrepreneurs (or in being one him- or herself) but it also is structured to be suitable for McCombs and LBJ School students.
The course covers the following subjects: 1) Background on entrepreneurialism and climate change, and the historical relationship between the two; 2) Technical background on climate change (UN IPCC and Paris Agreement); 3) Legal issues around climate change and business, including tort/regulatory exposure, disclosure requirements and social good vs. shareholder duties; 4) Historical precedents of entrepreneurialism as a response to crises; 5) Basics of new venture creation; and 6) Survey of ventures targeting climate change. The course will culminate with each student (separately or in teams) crafting an abbreviated new venture proposal responsive to issues covered in the class.