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Environmental Economics - ENV00108M

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Julia Touza-Montero
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module aims to advance the student’s knowledge of environmental and natural resource economics through a solutions based approach mainly towards the key themes of the economics of climate change and biodiversity conservation.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module provides students with advanced knowledge of natural resource economics and how economics can be used to help shape environmental policy. An environmental economics approach will be emphasised for the selection, design and evaluation of environmental policy instruments, particularly in respect of climate change and nature conservation. The module reflects on environmental management as a societal problem. A range of issues are covered within the module including debates over natural capital approaches to support land use and resource management decision-making, cooperation and coalition formation to manage environmental public goods (e.g. ‘climate clubs’), preferences over risk and time (e.g. hyperbolic discounting), regulated and voluntary policies (e.g. carbon markets, biodiversity credits, nature-based solutions), and national initiatives such as natural wealth accounting. The module aims to also develop skills for impact evaluation of public policies. Computer practicals will be used to relate theory to practice and the acquisition of practical skills in ecological-economics integrated analysis. The course will also include lectures, taught seminar style teaching, and includes guest lecturers.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

1. show advanced understanding of environmental economics and natural resource management.

2. evaluate environmental regulation attending to the challenges such as missing cost/benefit information, discounting, and asymmetric information.

3. analyse current government policy on agro-environment, climate change and biodiversity loss challenges.

4. understand and critically evaluate current research papers in environmental economics


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 80
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 20

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written feedback on summative assessment. Opportunities will be provided for feedback and consultation throughout the module through interaction with staff and peers.

Indicative reading


· Perrings C. (2014) Our Uncommon Heritage: Biodiversity Change, Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing. Cambridge University Press.

· Tol R.S. (2014) Climate Economics: Economic Analysis of Climate Change and Climate Policy. Edward Edgard.


· Arrow, K. (2012) Sustainability and the measurement of Wealth. Environment and Development Economics 17:317-353.

· Barrett, C.B., Bulte, E.H., Ferraro, P. & Wunder, S. (2013) Economic instruments for nature conservation. Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2: 59-73.

· Burke, M. et al (2016) Opportunities for advances in climate change economics, Science 352(6283): 292-293.

· Burke, M., Hsiang, S. M. and Miguel, E. (2015) Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production. Nature, 527: 235-239.

· Cardinale, Bradley J., J. Emmett Duffy, Andrew Gonzalez, David U. Hooper, Charles Perrings, Patrick Venail, Anita Narwani, Georgina M. Mace, David Tilman, and David A. Wardle. (2012) Biodiversity Loss and its Impact on Humanity. Nature 486 (7401): 59-67.

· Chaplin-Kramer et al. (2019) Global modelling of nature’s contribution to people. Science, 366: 255-258.

· Costanza, R., I. Kubiszewski, E. Giovannini, H. Lovins, J. McGlade, K. E. Pickett, K. Ragnarsdottir, D. Roberts, R. De Vogli, and R. Wilkinson. 2014. Development: Time to Leave GDP Behind. Nature 505 (7483): 283-285.

· Nordhaus, W. (2015) Climate Clubs: overcoming free-riding. American Economic Review 105(4): 1339-1370.

· Long, N. V. (2015) The Green Paradox in Open Economies: Lessons from Static and Dynamic Models. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 9(2): 266-284.

· Parson, Edward A. and Eric L. Kravitz. 2013. Market Instruments for the Sustainability Transition. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 38(1): 415-440.

· Perrings, C. and Kinzig A. (2018) Ecology and Economics in the Science of Anthropogenic Biosphere Change. Handbook of Environmental Economics, 4: 61-84.

· Pindyck, R. (2013) Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us? Journal of Economic Literature 51(3): 860–872

· Oswald A. and Stern N. (2019) Why does the economics of climate change matter so much, and why has the engagement of economists been so weak. Royal Economics Society Newsletter.

· Rickels, W., Dovern, J. and Quaas, M. (2016) Beyond fisheries: Common-pool resource problems in oceanic resources and services. Global Environmental Change, 40: 37 - 49.

· Stavins, R.N. (2003) Experience with Market-Based Environmental Policy Instruments. Handbook of Environmental Economics (ed. by K.-G. Ma¨ler and J.R. Vincent), pp. 355-435. Elsevier, Amsterdam

· Tol, R. (2018) The Economic Impacts of Climate Change. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 12(1), pp. 4 - 25.

· Vale, P. (2016) The changing climate of climate change economics. Ecological Economics 121: 12–19.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.