Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CM0567 (AF:354772 AR:185405)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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This course introduces the basic concepts of environmental economics for students whose background is mostly in environmental sciences. This is particularly important for the program on Global Change and Sustainability because students need to know both the physical and the economic implications of climate change and other environmental problems. Therefore, starting from a basic knowledge of the main elements of microeconomics, this course analyses the economic dimension of several environmental issues, with a focus on climate change, and the policy instruments to address them. Theoretical analyses and mathematical tools will be used jointly with applications to the major environmental problems that human societies are facing. Policy tools such as green taxes, emission permits and subsidies will be presented and assessed with the aim to enable students to design an environmental fiscal reform. This course will also analyse cost-effective environmental policies and their implementation in specific cases. It will focus in particular on the most important of present environmental problems: climate change. It will analyse its causes, main consequences and the policies to be implemented. The course will also provide students with tools to analyse the current state of negotiations on climate change control. It will identify the drivers and features of possible international agreements and will present scenarios of future development of international climate negotiations.
1. Knowledge and understanding:
1.1 Understand the role of environmental economics, why it's important to properly consider the economic dimension of environmental studies
1.2. Understand why public intervention is required to correct environmental externalities
1.3. Compare different environmental policy instruments
1.3 Assess the role of policy instruments in international environmental negotiations

2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
2.1. Use theoretical models and economic tools to address environmental problems
2.2. Apply economic instruments to analyse and mitigate climate change
2.3. Identify solutions to reduce obstacles towards international environmental agreements

3. Judgment skills:
3.1. Assess pros and cons of different environmental policy instruments
3.2. Understand the future of energy systems
3.3. Evaluate the success probability of international negotiations
Basic knowledge of economics, mathematics and statistics. Students should also be familiar with the most important environmental problems and should follow the debate on the measures and policies to address climate change.
1. Market inefficiency to address environmental externalities
2. Environmental regulation and policy
3. The role of green taxes
4. Permit markets
5. Environmental tax reforms
6. The EU ETS
8. Cost effective environmental policies
9. Climate change: main drivers
10. Climate change: impacts and policies
11. The history of climate agreements: from Kyoto to Paris
12. The theory of international environmental agreements
13. Application to climate agreements
14. Innovation and finance for climate change control
- R. Perman, Y.Ma, M. Common, D. Maddison, J. McGilvray, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, 4th edition, Pearson 2011,
- J.M.Harris, B. Roach, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Third Edition, M.E.Sharpe, 2013.
- Stephen Smith, Environmental Economics: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2011
- C. Kolstad, Environmental Economics, Oxford University Press, 2010
- Miria A. Pigato, Fiscal Policies for Development and Climate Action, The World Bank Group, 2019
- Scott Barrett, Carlo Carraro, Jim De Melo, Towards a Workable and Effective Climate Regine, CEPR Press 2015, freely downloadable at www.cepr.org (anche in francese per la casa editrice Economica).
- W. Nordhaus, The Climate Casino, Yale University Press, 2013.
Homeworks, essay writing, infographics, and discussion of main issues
Lectures and workgroups . Students will be asked to prepare short essays that will be discussed in class. Much of the learning process should take place before and during the course, to make lectures more participated and interesting, and to give students the capacity to use and apply the acquired knowledge.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Climate change and energy" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 28/02/2021