SMNR: Climate Change & Entrepreneurialism

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON 6:25 - 8:15 pm TNH 2.124

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


The 28520 section of this course will be taught in person but with the option of occasional remote participation via Zoom.  If students require all remote participation, they must register for the 28483 section of this course, which is identical but web-based.

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 crafting an abbreviated new venture proposal responsive to issues covered in the class.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century (optional)
Stephen Spinelli, Rob Adams
McGraw Hill Educational , edition: 10th
ISBN: 0077862481
The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future *
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway
Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023116954X
Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II *
Arthur Herman
Random House
ISBN: 9780812982046
Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming *
McKenzie Funk
ISBN: 0143126598
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future *
Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
Penguin Random House
ISBN: 9780804139298


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
11/13/2020 Course is cross listed
Room(s) changed