Postgraduate Course: Climate Change Economics (PGGE11266)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Climate Change Economics (CCEcon) is designed for students with little or no economics background. It provides such students with a critical understanding of the main economic tools and theories - both mainstream and non-mainstream - that are employed in climate change economics.
Climate Change Economics (CCEcon) provides students with a critical understanding of the main economic tools and theories - both mainstream and non-mainstream - that have been developed to understand and address climate change. This includes environmental economics, ecological economics and other non-mainstream perspectives (e.g., degrowth), and a bit of behavioural economics applied to environmental issues. Bearing in mind that the course is targeted at students with little or no economics background, the course provides some basic economic knowledge useful to understand the more specialized branches of economics addressed in the course, and encourages the students to critically reflect - also in the light of their non-economic background - on the assumptions made in economics. The main questions addressed in the course include:
(1): What are the costs of climate change? What are the costs of responding to climate change? What are the most appropriate economic policy measures for responding to climate change?
(2): How do economic tools cope with uncertainty?
(3): Why do individuals, companies, and countries make at times decisions that affect the environment negatively? What decisions are 'rational' from an economic perspective, and are they reasonable from an environmental one? Are there ways to influence these decisions, and is it ethical to do so?
(4): How do we understand the interactions between economy, society and the environment? How do different economic theories and worldviews influence our way of life and our impact on the Earth? What can the economic field learn from other disciplines and cultures?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessment One (30%): Policy brief with questions
Assessment Two (70%): Essay with questions
||Formative feedback: There will be four types of formative feedback:
(a) Half-way through the course, each student will be invited to answer to a non-mandatory anonymous feedback questionnaire and, if the student thinks it is needed, attend a non-mandatory meeting with the CO to discuss their comprehension of the course materials and concepts. Depending on the outcomes of these meetings, the CO might alter the second half of the course (e.g., by providing further explanations on topics of the first half, or by using a different approach). Students will also be encouraged to contact the CO during office hours to get extra feedback/support if/when it is needed, without having to wait for the half-way meeting.
(b) Some classes will include questions or instant mini-quizzes (with answers) where students can autonomously assess whether they have understood the content or not. Students will not be required to submit their answers or the results of these quizzes, but they will be welcome to ask for clarifications about them during classes, tutorials, or office hours.
(c) There will be weekly tutorials that will include questions and discussions in which students can get feedback on their answers.
(d) Students will be encouraged to share with the CO and the tutors a summary of the topic and argument they intend to develop in the Policy Brief (which is part of the midterm assignment) and in the Essay (which is part of the final assignment). Formative feedback will be provided on these summaries, aimed at helping students prepare their assignments. This feedback will in most cases be provided via email, and students who receive very critical feedback will be encouraged to have a meeting with the CO and/or the tutors. Sharing these summaries with the CO and the tutors to get feedback will be encouraged, but not mandatory.
Summative feedback will be provided on the first assignment (Policy Brief with questions) and on the second assignment (Essay with questions).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- To understand key concepts from economics that are used in climate change and carbon management policy making.
- To have the knowledge and understanding to recognise and assess the economic dimensions of a wide range of climate change and carbon management policy challenges.
- To have the capability to articulate and critically evaluate the key assumptions underpinning climate change economics as used in carbon management.
- To be able to communicate and explain the key economic issues of carbon management with non-economist stakeholders.
|Hanley, N., Shogren, J. & White, B. (2019), Introduction to Environmental Economics. OUP |
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Knowing: Knowledge and understanding of core concepts and debates in climate change economics (appropriate for a Level 11, 20 credit course)
Acting: Experience in applying different assumptions, parameters and variables to a range of economic problems and in observing, interpreting and debating the outcomes. Experience in a range of methods and analytical tools such as CBA, CV, etc. (appropriate for a Level 11, 20 credit course)
Being: Articulation of own values with respect to climate change economics, e.g. own approach to defining and measuring 'value', 'wellbeing', etc. (appropriate for a Level 11, 20 credit course)
|Keywords||Climate change economics,carbon pricing,carbon taxation
|Course organiser||Ms Alice Damiano
|Course secretary||Ms Heather Penman
Tel: (0131 6)50