SMNR: Climate Change & Entrepreneurialism

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON 5:55 - 7:45 pm TNH 3.129

Evaluation Method

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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 response strategies.

This course focuses on the nexus of entrepreneurialism and climate change, a scope that includes special legal, policy, 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, and/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) entrepreneurialism and climate change, in particular the historical and future relationships between the two; 2) technical, scientific and policy background on climate change (UN IPCC, National Climate Assessment, Paris Agreement etc.); 3) legal issues of climate change and business, including tort/regulatory exposure, SEC disclosures and social good vs. shareholder duties; 4) historical precedents of entrepreneurialism as a response to crises; and 5) basics of new venture creation and practice, including business plan drafting and investment pitching.

The class culminates in a final assignment in which each student writes a business plan for a venture of his or her choosing, where the plan must be designed to both present a compelling investment opportunity and also beneficially address climate change adaptation and/or mitigation. Grading is based on several short writing assignments, the final project and class participation.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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