GRA 6665 Environment and Sustainable Development

GRA 6665 Environment and Sustainable Development

Course code: 
GRA 6665
Course coordinator: 
Ingrid Hjort
Course name in Norwegian: 
Environment and Sustainable Development
Product category: 
MSc in Applied Economics
2022 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Climate change, environmental degradation and pollution of water and air are among the most important challenges of our time, both globally and locally. Firms and governments allocate large amounts of resources to new green interventions and environmental protection. Do these policies work, or are resources wasted on ineffective pollution control? If so, how can the policies be improved?

Environmental economics looks at how economic activity and policy affect the environment in which we live. Some production and household decisions generate pollution – for example exhaust causes harmful local air pollution and also contribute to global warming. However, pollution from economic activity is not inevitable. Policy can require firms to reduce emissions and encourage people to change their behavior. But, there is a trade-off: changes that provide a cleaner environment will involve some economic costs. How much should we spend on pollution control? It is worth reducing pollution to zero, or should we accept some level of pollution because of the economic benefits associated with it?

This course seeks to equip students – business consultants and political advisors of the future – with analytical skills to make these decisions. Students will learn through lectures, seminar exercises, and individual studies.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the core topics in environmental economics and sustainable development.

Students will gain knowledge about:

- Key concepts in environmental economics

- 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 assess the effectiveness of environmental policies.

- Design firms’ and governments’ environmental policies so that the effects may be critically evaluated.

General Competence

This is a master course in environmental economics. The course builds upon prior knowledge in introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics at the bachelor level.

Course content

Main topics are:

- Pollution targets and policy instruments;

- Environmental and technology policies;

- Pollution control under uncertainty

- International environmental problems and agreements;

- Climate change economics and integrated assessment models;

- Environmental macroeconomics;

Teaching and learning activities

The course consists of lectures (36 hours).

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 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.



Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

This is a master course in environmental economics. The course is based on prior knowledge in introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics at the bachelor level. Students who do not have this prior knowledge, are advised not to take this course.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Written examination under supervision
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
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)
Solving exercises with TA
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.