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CLI8205 Climate and Sustainability

Semester 2, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Brad Carter
Moderator: Andy Le Brocque


The tremendous impact of climate change and climate variability on our natural and build environment ultimately links the climate change debate to the concept of sustainability and sustainable resource management. The associated policy making processes are underpinned by our scientific understanding of the natural world. This course communicates the link between scientific understanding of climate change and sustainability. It provides insight into contemporary policy making processes and discusses successful examples.


This course is focused on policy communicating international, national and state wide activities. It reviews processes such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) leading to the Kyoto protocol, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process, the responses to climate change and policies developed by state and federal government, and introduces practical approaches of using climate information to drive policy making. It reviews the history of the sustainability concept, Carbon Emission trading strategies, National Climate Change Adaptation Policy, the recent reports by the Australian economists Ross Garnaut and Lord Stern, the former Head of the Government Economic Service and former World Bank Chief Economist Stern.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the risks of climate change
  2. evaluate the state of the climate system
  3. assess the impact of climate change upon the natural environment
  4. review the history of sustainability
  5. understand the link be science and sustainability
  6. present concepts models of the climate system


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction Global Climate and Environmental Changes 15.00
2. The history of the sustainability concept 20.00
3. Climate policy in natural systems 20.00
4. Climate policy in energy sector 10.00
5. Institutional policy to promote sustainability in changing climate 35.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Rogers, PP, Jalal, KF & Boyd, JA 2008, An introduction to sustainable development, Earthscan, London.
  • World Bank 2010, World development report 2010: Development and climate change, World Bank, Washington DC.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Elsevier, Global Environmental Change.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)
  • International Journal of Climatology, Royal Metrological Society.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)
  • IPCC 2007, Working Group I Report "The Physical Sciences Basis",
  • IPCC 2007, Working Group II Report "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability",
  • Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Society.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)
  • Sustainability Science, Springer Publisher.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 52.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 115.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 100 20 17 Jul 2012 (see note 1)
Assignment 2 100 20 17 Jul 2012 (see note 2)
2Hr Restricted Exam 100 60 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Examiner will advise due date of Assignment 1 on StudyDesk.
  2. Examiner will advise due date of Assignment 2 on Study Desk.
  3. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment will apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination). Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for assessments is the date by which a student must despatch an assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item of assessment. This must be produced within 48 hours if required by the Examiner.

  2. Students who obtain an overall passing mark, but who do not perform satisfactorily in an examination, may, at the discretion of the examiner, be granted a supplementary examination. Students will be granted a deferred examination only if they perform satisfactorily in all other assessment items.

  3. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide //