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BAEcon Economics and Finance / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Climate Change Economics and Policy

Unit code ECON32111
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Economics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

 The aims of this course are to:

  • Introduce students to recent research developments in climate change economics & policy analysis by providing an overview of concepts, formal techniques and a range of practical applications.
  • Develop students understanding and ability to critically reflect on the use of these formal methods and quantitative analytical techniques to support decision making in the climate change context.
  • Equip students to participate in discussion of climate change policy through an economic lens.
  • Provide students with the knowledge and skills required for writing a position paper on a topic covered in the course.

By the end of the course students will have a solid understanding of humans’ role in global climate change, the inter-temporal efficiency of climate change mitigation measures, and the international distribution of responsibility for climate change policy. They should also be able to identify why market institutions fail in protecting the local and global environment, and describe and articulate effective ways to encourage more coordination and cooperation, design better incentive structures, and promote more protection. They will be familiar with the main recent statistics and policies with respect to climate change and its mitigation in the UK and internationally and they will be able to explain the economics methods used to analyse and support decisions on mitigation efforts. Based on the topics and examples covered students will develop a rigorous and critical understanding of mitigation approaches and climate policies from an economic perspective.

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
ECON20101 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Adv Maths - BAEcon & BSc Econ ECON10071 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 3 ECON20021 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Advanced Mathematics ECON20071 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomic Analysis 3 ECON20501 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
ECON32111 Climate Change Economics Pre-requisites: (ECON20101 or ECON20021 or ECON20501) AND (ECON10071 or ECON20071)

(ECON20101 or ECON200021 or ECON20501) AND (ECON10071 or ECON20071)

Aims

The aims of this course are to:

  1. Introduce students to recent research developments in climate change economics & policy analysis by providing an overview of concepts, formal techniques and a range of practical applications.
  2. Develop students understanding and ability to critically reflect on the use of these formal methods and quantitative analytical techniques to support decision making in the climate change context.
  3. Equip students to participate in discussion of climate change policy through an economic lens.
  4. Provide students with the knowledge and skills required for writing a position paper on a topic covered in the course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will:

  1. Have a solid understanding of humans’ role in global climate change, the inter-temporal efficiency of climate change mitigation measures, and the international distribution of responsibility for climate change policy.
  2. Be able to identify why market institutions fail in protecting the local and global environment, and describe and articulate effective ways to encourage more coordination and cooperation, design better incentive structures, and promote more protection.
  3. Be familiar with the main recent statistics and policies with respect to climate change and its mitigation in the UK and internationally and they will be able to explain the economics methods used to analyse and support decisions on mitigation efforts.
  4. Have developed a rigorous and critical understanding of mitigation approaches and climate policies from an economic perspective.

Syllabus

Topic 0: Introduction to the Course.

Topic 1: Measuring Climate Change, CO2 and the Link between them.

Topic 2: Uncertainty and Climate Damages in Economic Terms.

Topic 3: Mitigation, Discounting or How to Compare Present and Future Consumption.

Topic 4: Pulling it together: Economic Integrated Assessment Modelling.

Topic 5: Policy Instruments and What is used in Practice.

Topic 6: International Environmental Problems.
 

Teaching and learning methods

The learning and teaching process will include two broad forms of delivery (a) lectures and (b) exercise classes 

The lectures include multi-media presentations.  They will be supplemented with additional notes and reading through the course website. 

In the exercise classes students will be asked to work in groups. 

Students will also be actively encouraged to participate in the discussion board on the course website. 

 

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Synthesis and analysis of information. Critical reflection and evaluation of research.
Research
The course assignment requires students to investigate in greater detail a specific problem and come up with a policy proposal. Planning independent work using library, electronic and online resources. Using reporting skills.
Written communication
Other
Information retrieval. Time management. Applying subject knowledge.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%
  • Final Exam - 1.5 hours (70% of overall mark).
  • Assessed Coursework - position paper (30% of overall mark).

Feedback methods

  • For the position paper you will receive detailed instructions. Feedback will be given twice (on your first idea for your position paper and outline, respectively).
  • Mock exams.
  • Series of quiz questions (Blackboard) covering topics in each lecture.
  • Class feedback.
  • Office hours.
  • Discussion boards.

Recommended reading

The main textbooks are:

  • Tol, R.S.J. (2014), Climate Economics: Economic Analysis of Climate, Climate change and Climate Policy, Edward Elgar.
  • Some chapters from: Perman, Ma, Common, Maddison and McGilvray. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Fourth Edition. Addison Wesley
  • The relevant specific chapters will be indicated before each lecture.

Assigned empirical/applied papers: The text book material will be supplemented with a limited number of assigned empirical/applied papers for each lecture.  This information will be on Blackboard well in advance of each lecture. There will also be some class handouts.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 16
Practical classes & workshops 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 77.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Grada Wossink Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For every 10 course unit credits we expect students to work for around 100 hours. This time generally includes any contact times (online or face to face, recorded and live), but also independent study, work for coursework, and group work. This amount is only a guidance and individual study time will vary.

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