GRA 6665 Environment and Sustainable Development
Global warming and pollution of water and air are among of the most important challenges of our time, both globally and locally. At the same time, about 10 percent of the world population remain below the poverty line (about $1.90 per day). For these reasons, firms and governments allocate large amounts of resources to environmental protection and foreign aid: the total amount of environmental taxes in Norway is currently above two percent of national income, and Norway spends about one percent of its income on foreign aid. But, do these policies work, or is a massive amount of resources wasted? And, how can the policies be improved?
Importantly, environmental and development problems cannot be seen as independent of each other. For example, carbon emissions from agricultural and industrial production causes climate change, but at the same time climate change may harm production and cause poverty. This course seeks to equip students – business consultants and political advisors of the future – with state-of-the-art techniques that can be used two evaluate the causal impact of environmental and development policies. The acquired techniques can be used to answer questions such as: How should firms and industries act to avoid causing significant harm to the environment? What can firms do to promote local sustainable development? Students will learn through lectures, group work, presentations, and readings of book chapters and scientific articles.
The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the core topics in environmental and development economics.
Students will gain knowledge about:
- The general economic effects of pollution and environmental policies;
- The economics of climate change;
- The effectiveness of international environmental agreements;
- The local economy effects of local environmental protection policies;
- Which environmental and development policies work and which do not;
- How to evaluate the effect of environmental and development policies.
The overall goal is that students should be able to facilitate firms and policy makers in making better choices and improve firm value and consumer welfare.
Students should be able to:
- Identify the economic effects and problems related to a pollutant;
- Prescribe a best response for a firm and/or the government to an environmental problem;
- Critically asses the effectiveness of environmental and development policies.
- Design firms’ and governments’ environmental and development policies so that the effects may be critically evaluated.
Student will learn to identify the relevant economic problems facing firms and governments in an environmental and development context.
They will be able to think critically about the underlying assumptions of the methods used to analyze problems, prescribe solutions, and evaluate implementations of firms’ actions and governments’ policies.
Main topics are:
- Pollution targets and policy instruments;
- Environmental and technology polices;
- International environmental problems and agreements;
- Climate change economics;
- Local economy effects of environmental problems;
- Evaluation of development policies.
The course is taught over one semester, and consists of lectures (36 hours). In several of the lectures students will present and lead the discussion of key research articles.
Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.
All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.
|Exam category||Weight||Invigilation||Duration||Support materials||Grouping||Comment exam|
Form of assessment:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
|100||Yes||3 Hour(s)||Individual||Written examination under supervision|
|Form of assessment:||Written submission|
|Support materials:|| |
|Comment:||Written examination under supervision|
|Resit:||Examination when next scheduled course|
A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.