The Economics of Climate Change

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Economics of Climate Change

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Non-modular pre-requisites:

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Summary module description:
    The module will provide an introduction to the theoretical concepts and approaches used to analyse economic impacts of climate change, such as externalities and public goods and principles of behavioural economics to understand the roles of both financial and non financial incentives. The module will then introduce national and international policy approaches in dealing with climate change, examine the difficulties in switching to alternative energy sources and environmentally-friendly technologies and behaviours.

    This module aims to introduce economics and non-economics students to the economics and policy issues of climate change.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of the module, the student will be able to demonstrate:
    an understanding of the analytical tools that economics offers for the study of global and local impacts of climate change
    an ability to critically evaluate current and proposed policies dealing with impacts of climate change

    Additional outcomes:

    Outline content:
    Following the introduction into the interaction between the environment and the economy, a selection of topics from the following list will be covered:
    Theoretical concepts: externalities, public goods, economic efficiency
    Environmental policy instruments: implementation and performance
    Behavioural economics
    International Agreements aimed at abatement of climate change

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Lectures will be used for the presentation of the concepts, analytical principles, and the methodology. Students are expected to follow media coverage of contemporary debate concerning climate change and public response to its global and local impact. Coursework is set to develop analytical and critical skills.

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written exam 50%
    Written assignment including essay 40%
    Class test administered by School 10%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    One in-class test, with a weight of 10% in the overall mark.
    Group essay/project on mitigation/policy/local impacts of climate change, to be completed by the end of the Spring term. This will have a weight of 40% in the overall mark.

    Formative assessment methods:

    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

    The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One 2-hour unseen written paper.
    Part 1 examinations are held in the Summer term.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A minimum mark of 40%.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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