GRA 6665 Environment and Sustainable Development

GRA 6665 Environment and Sustainable Development

Course code: 
GRA 6665
Course coordinator: 
Tom-Reiel Heggedal
Course name in Norwegian: 
Environment and Sustainable Development
Product category: 
MSc in Applied Economics
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Global warming and pollution of water and air are among of the most important challenges of our time, both globally and locally. Firms and governments allocate large amounts of resources to environmental protection: the total amount of environmental taxes in Norway is currently above two percent of national income. But, do these policies work, or is a massive amount of resources wasted? And, how can the policies be improved?

Importantly, environmental problems are linked to issues in sustainable development. 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 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 sustainable development?  Students will learn through lectures, student 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 sustainable development.

Students will gain knowledge about:

- The general economic effects of pollution and climate policies;

- The economics of climate change;

- The local economy effects of local environmental protection policies;

- Which environmental policies work and which do not;

- How to evaluate the effect of environmental policies.

Learning outcomes - Skills

The overall goal is that students should be able to facilitate firms and policy makers in making better choices.

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 policies.

- Design firms’ and governments’ environmental 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 sustainable development context.

Students should 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;

- Environmental macroeconomics;

- Local economy effects of environmental problems.

Teaching and learning activities

The course  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, 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 spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.


Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
100Yes3 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Written examination under supervision
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
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: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
12 Hour(s)
Seminar groups
40 Hour(s)
Students present papers in class
Student's own work with learning resources
40 Hour(s)
32 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

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.