GRA 6665 Environment and Sustainable Development

GRA 6665 Environment and Sustainable Development

Course code: 
GRA 6665
Department: 
Economics
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Tom-Reiel Heggedal
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Applied Economics
Semester: 
2019 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

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. 

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

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.
Learning outcomes - Skills

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.
General Competence

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.

Course content

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.
Teaching and learning activities

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.  

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

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. 

Qualifications

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 categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA66651
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
100Yes3 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Written examination under supervision
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:100
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:Written examination under supervision
Exam code:GRA66651
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
100