Energy and Climate Change


The students should acquire basic knowledge on the relationships between energy and climate change on a global scale as well as on more specific aspects of policies and instruments for controlling emissions of greenhouse gases, namely at the company level.  They should acquire working knowledge of efficient energy use, including energy auditing method. They should also acquire overview knowledge of energy systems, especially on decentralized renewable energy, and its importance to a low carbon economy.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

-Assess and prepare the groundwork for a climate change strategy at the enterprise level;

-Evaluate and criticize energy options, with emphasis on renewable technologies;

-Develop a plan for the energy efficiency of a dwelling.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Miguel Dias Joanaz de Melo, Maria Júlia Fonseca de Seixas


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language



Students should have a background on engineering sciences, environmental impact assessment, economics and environmental law.


Albert Thumann, Terry Niehus, William J. Younger (2012), Handbook of Energy Audits, Ninth Edition. 495 p. Fairmont Press, USA. ISBN 9781466561625
Houghton, J. (2009). Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. Cambridge University Press, 4th edition. ISBN: 0521709164.
Tester, J.W., Drake, E.M., Golay, M.W., Driscoll, M.J. and Peters, W.A. (2005). Sustainable Energy - Choosing Among Options. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, US. ISBN: 0262201534.
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), Contribution of Working Group II 2007. and Contribution of Working Group III, 2007. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
Estatísticas e perspectivas para a energia / Energy outlooks and statistics:
- International Energy Agency:
- European Commission Energy:
- Eurostat Energy:
- Direção-Geral de Energia e Geologia:

Teaching method

Teaching methods include three formats:

a) Lectures, with frequent questioning of students towards their participation including presentation of concrete situations on which they have to express an opinion and / or decision.

b) Three seminars streamlined by the students who have to present a topic for discussion.

c) Execution of assignments with theoretical and practical research.

Evaluation method

Evaluation includes: 1) Home energy plan (50%, individual); 2) Debate "Energy strategy for the XXI Century (30%, group); 3) Seminar "Business strategy for climate change" (20%, group). Delays in the delivery of assignments and absence in mandatory classes imply penalties in grading.

Subject matter

1 - Energy and climate change: complex and interdisciplinary relation. 2 - World overview on energy. 3 - Home energy plan. 4 - Comfort in buildings and architecture options. 5 - Energy certification in residential buildings. 6 - Metodology for energy auditing. 7 - Energy efficiency in industry. 8 - Policy and instruments for energy efficiency. 9 - Global carbon cycle and stocks. 10 - Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. 11 - Policy and economy global framework for climate change. 12 - European framework for climate change. 13 - Business strategy for climate change. 14 - Renewable resources and technology for electricity production. 15 - Trends of energy consumption and GHG emissions in Portugal.  16 - Sustainable mobility. 17 - Integrated assessment of energy systems.