Individual Essay

  • 3000 words (excluding references; +/- 10% leniency rule applies)

Business has a paradoxical relationship to climate change. On the one hand, businesses are prime contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, the entrepreneurial and innovative character of business activity can offer vital solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Critically evaluate ONE approach to tackling climate change discussed in this module with reference to the above outlined paradox.


  • Example of approach to tackling climate change: circular economy, or renewable energy, which is very vast, so chose one particular aspect e.g. focus on a particular type of renewable energy or particular case study or sub-issue such as the availability of materials to produce all these wind turbines and solar panels (where are these materials coming from, which brings in the question of mining and the social environmental impact of mining, for example) – FOCUS YOUR ESSAY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE (don’t talk about too many things, but try to focus on a few things in-depth) – In this essay I would like to focus on a particular aspect / issue of circular economy
  •  Discuss the paradoxes in depth not breadth
  • Think critically e.g. also consider the negatives of off-shore wind energy

We will be assessing your essay in terms of the following criteria:


  • Understanding the paradox of the relationship between business and climate change (e.g. what is the business doing and what it is not)
  • Evaluate business strategies and policy options to mitigate and adapt to climate change (critically evaluate what businesses are doing and not doing, critically evaluate what policymakers are doing and not doing with reference to mitigation and adaption to climate change, what approaches are out there and what is being done and what are the pros and cons of these strategies and options)
  • Critical reasoning and analysis
  • Understanding and evaluating recent research about the relationship between business and climate change
  • Understanding the political and ethical dimensions of business conduct (e.g. if a business makes a claim that carbon markets will solve their climate responsibility, then it is important to interrogate their claim and look at the social and environmental side-effects or some of these carbon-offsetting projects that they’re investing in e.g. doing something good for the climate while putting at disadvantage certain communities)


  • Logical flow of narrative (clearly define what the essay is about from the beginning)
  • Clarity of expression
  • Suitable use of sub-headings (e.g. introduction and conclusion, and specific sub-headings related to the topic in-between)


  • Suitable use of references (in APA 7th style) 

I’ve also attached sample essays provided by the professor. Please note – as written by the professor: “do NOT interpret examples as exemplary work. I do not share exemplary work and I’d like to emphasise that these are typical examples and are certainly not faultless, exemplary submissions. All these papers were marked in the 2:1 band. I emphasise that these samples each have areas for improvement. I suggest you use the examples in conjunction with the assessment briefs and marking criteria.”

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