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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Climate Change Economics (PGGE11266)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryClimate 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.
Course description 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?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Climate Change Management (PGGE11127) AND Climate Change and Business (PGGE11273) AND Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (PGGE11126) AND Dissertation in Carbon Management (PGGE11128)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on Taught MSc programmes within the School of Geosciences.
Students are not permitted to audit this course unless formally agreed with the Course Organiser.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To understand key concepts from economics that are used in climate change and carbon management policy making.
  2. 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.
  3. To have the capability to articulate and critically evaluate the key assumptions underpinning climate change economics as used in carbon management.
  4. To be able to communicate and explain the key economic issues of carbon management with non-economist stakeholders.
Reading List
Harris, Jonathan & Roach, Brian. Environmental and natural resource economics: a contemporary approach, 4th edition, 2017.

Perman, Roger. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, 4th edition, 2011
Additional Information
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)
KeywordsClimate change economics,carbon pricing,carbon taxation
Course organiserDr Frances Warren
Course secretaryMiss Niamh Bajai
Tel: (0131 6)50 8105
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