Excerpt from course description

Global Sustainability: Climate, Environment and Poverty


Economics is a social science. It is concerned with human beings, quality of life and the social systems by which we organize our societies. Global environmental issues, health issues, inequality and poverty are among the largest challenges of the current and the future population. Why are some countries progressing while others remain poor? What causes extreme poverty and what type of policies have been the most effective for improving the lives of the poor? How are local environmental challenges associated with the countries’ wealth? How much should be spent on pollution control, and it is worth reducing pollution to zero?

Environmental problems and climate change are linked to poverty and distributional issues. Will fighting one problem necessary help us to solve the other? This course applies economic analysis to investigate the global sustainability challenges, such as climatic changes, degradation of shared resources and unequal economic development. Environmental economics looks at how economic activity and policy affect the environment in which we live, where development economics investigates the economies of developing nations. In this course we study policy solutions, the role of institutions and global cooperation to critical global issues.

Course content

  • Local and global pollution and environmental problems;
  • Market failures;
  • Efficiency versus equity;
  • Pollution targets and environmental policy instruments;
  • Valuation and cost benefit analysis;
  • Climate change economics;
  • International agreements and global cooperation;
  • Growth theory;
  • Poverty and equality measures;
  • International labor market, trade and globalization;
  • Institutions and governance.


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