Environmental economics and analysis
This course aims to equip students with the ability to undertake socio-economic analyses of environmental assets, damage, and policies. It will examine the environment as a component of productive capital that can be combined with other forms of capital (human, social, financial, built) to produce goods and services that contribute to human wellbeing. The course explains the failure of markets to efficiently allocate environmental resources and introduces strategies for internalising the external costs of environmental damage such as pollution and climate change. The course includes an introduction to cost-benefit analysis, social return on investment (SROI) and methodologies for the valuation of environmental impacts and ecosystem services.
There will also be a consideration of alternative policy instruments from an economic perspective. The aim is to examine ways of managing resources to maximise human welfare, while accounting for ecological limits and externalities. Topics to be included: supply, demand and the optimal allocation of resources, market failure and the environment, economic policy instruments, valuation of environmental impacts, ecosystems services and natural capital, the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB), cost-benefit analysis, economics of climate change , natural capital accounting.
Assessment: 100% coursework