Methods and Tools for the Analysis of Climate Change Impacts and Policies - part I

Academic year 2016/2017 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title Methods and Tools for the Analysis of Climate Change Impacts and Policies - part I
Course code PHD028 (AF:242021 AR:132158)
ECTS credits 2.5 out of 5 of Methods and Tools for the Analysis of Climate Change Impacts and Policies
Degree level Corso di Dottorato (D.M.45)
Educational sector code SECS-P/01
Period 2nd Semester
Course year 1
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to introduce and teach economic and modeling methods and tools that can be used to study and design climate change impacts, mitigation and adaptation policies. The course will focus on computational integrated assessment models (IAMs), a mainstream tool used in the economic evaluation of mitigation and adaptation policies, but it will also touch upon other methods and approaches that can be used and combined with IAM-based analyses. The course will consists of eight lectures of three hours each. They will combine frontal lectures as well as hands-on sessions on a simplified IAM and existing databases.
Basic statistics and calculus.
From climate change as a matter of science to climate change as a matter of money
Introduction to the challenge of climate stabilization. Basic concepts of emissions, concentrations, forcing, warming.
Economic foundations of Integrated Assessments Models. Growth and Climate change.
The Stern Review and the role of discounting in the context of growth theory. Take-home assignment.
LECTURE 2: From economic growth to Integrated Assessment models: How do IAMs work?
Students’ presentations of take-home assignment from Lecture 1.
From growth models to Integrated Assessment models. The DICE model. Hands on GAMS and DICE. Introductory exercises with GAMS.
A simplified version of the DICE model, hands on.
LECTURE 3: A critical review of IAMs
Students’ presentations of take-home assignment from Lecture 2. Discussion of advantage and disadvantage of IAMs.
Limitation of current IAMs. Measuring the benefit of mitigation using IAMs.
Criteria for evaluating and choosing climate change policies: cost-benefit and cost-effective analyses.
LECTURE 4: Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Impacts
Methods for evaluating climate change impacts. The issue of uncertainty in the climate change impact literature.
Opportunities for improving IAMs. Applications to energy and agriculture.
LECTURE 5: Energy: Scenario And Challenges
Brief history of energy; energy needs and resources; introduction to the concept of energy mix; future prospects.
Analysis of and practice using the AMPERE database with relevant indicators: energy intensity, carbon intensity, Kaya identity.
The relationship between energy and climate change. Overview of the EU Climate and Energy Plan and the EU Roadmap.
LECTURE 6: Power Generation Technologies
Introduction to electricity and power generation and overview of power generation in the World, the EU and Italy.
Overview of the main power generation technologies: traditional fossil-fuelled technologies: steam plants, gas turbines, combined cycles; low-carbon technologies for climate mitigation: nuclear and renewables (hydroelectric, biomass, wind, solar, other innovative solutions).
LECTURE 7: The WITCH model and its applications
This lecture is focused on WITCH, the Integrated Assessment Model developed at FEEM.
The objective is to present a fully-fledged IAMs after students have acquired some experience with the simpler IAM, DICE (Lecture 2), and discuss a number of applications, also in the context of international scenario exercises.
Description of the WITCH model. Examples of scenario exercises: EMF27 and EMF28. Description of the projects, main results.
LECTURE 8: Integrated assessment models – Further applications
This lecture will review applications of IAMs to study mitigation and adaptation, also in the presence of uncertainty.
Criteria for evaluating and choosing climate change policies: cost-benefit and cost-effective analyses.
How to measure policy costs. The issue of burden sharing. Mitigation and adaptation in the presence of catastrophic risk.
Review and recap of previous lectures, Q&A.
Referral texts
Required readings will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course
Type of exam
Participation to class quizzes 10%
Preparation of recommended reading 20%
Take-home exercises 10%

Final written exam module 1 30%
Final written exam module 2 30%
Teaching language
Attendance is required. Daily preparation is also required. The assignments are set out above in the course syllabus. Academic honesty is an important part of university training. While students may discuss assignments with their classmates and others, they are expected to make sure any written material they submit is their own work. Students are expected to know how to cite the work of others and present a bibliography of the research texts that were used.