CCGL9040 Global Issues

Energy Futures, Globalization and Sustainability

[This course is under the thematic cluster of ‘Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth’.]


Course Description

The course explores the relationships between energy, globalization and sustainability at the global, regional and local levels. The course examines how globalization affects energy supply and use, and how energy systems affect economies, societies and our environment. Using examples from developing and developed countries, the course analyses the ways in which processes of globalization, energy governance and sustainability interact. It explores the problems that arise, and how countries develop strategies to manage these problems. The course also argues that localised community-based initiatives have the potential of making major contributions to addressing energy sustainability issues internationally. Through examining the rise of energy communities in other countries, students will be inspired to explore the possibilities of developing such initiatives in the local Hong Kong context.

[A compulsory one-day field trip will take place during Reading Week.]

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain and debate the principles of globalization and sustainable development as these apply at the global, regional and local levels.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of energy systems as a key determinant of societal sustainability, globally and locally.
  3. Appreciate the inter-connectedness between sustainable development, aspects of energy production and consumption, and the globalization process.
  4. Identify and explain the opportunities and challenges of developing community energy sustainability initiatives in different types of communities.
  5. Argue for the relevance of community-based approaches in addressing energy sustainability challenges.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 8
Fieldwork / Visits 6
Reading / Self-study 60
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 25
Assessment: Group project presentation (incl preparation) 15
Total: 138

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Presentation 40
Individual essay 40
Participation 20

Required Reading


Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr. V.H.Y. Chu
Centre for Civil Society and Governance, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 5539
Email: vivianhy@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr. V.H.Y. Chu
Centre for Civil Society and Governance, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 5539
Email: vivianhy@hku.hk
Dr W.W.Y. Law
Centre for Civil Society and Governance, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 7392
Email: wwylaw@hku.hk
Dr J.E. Kim
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 4982
Email: jkim@hku.hk