Course description

Environment and Sustainable Development


Global warming and pollution of water and air are among of the most important challenges of our time, both globally and locally. At the same time, about 10 percent of the world population remain below the poverty line (about $1.90 per day). For these reasons, firms and governments allocate large amounts of resources to environmental protection and foreign aid: the total amount of environmental taxes in Norway is currently above two percent of national income, and Norway spends about one percent of its income on foreign aid. But, do these policies work, or is a massive amount of resources wasted? And, how can the policies be improved?

Importantly, environmental and development problems cannot be seen as independent of each other. For example, carbon emissions from agricultural and industrial production causes climate change, but at the same time climate change may harm production and cause poverty. This course seeks to equip students – business consultants and political advisors of the future – with state-of-the-art techniques that can be used two evaluate the causal impact of environmental and development policies. The acquired techniques can be used to answer questions such as: How should firms and industries act to avoid causing significant harm to the environment? What can firms do to promote local sustainable development?  Students will learn through lectures, group work, presentations, and readings of book chapters and scientific articles. 

Course content

Main topics are:

  • Pollution targets and policy instruments;
  • Environmental and technology polices;
  • International environmental problems and agreements;
  • Climate change economics;
  • Local economy effects of environmental problems;
  • Evaluation of development policies.

Learning outcome knowledge

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the core topics in environmental and development economics.

Students will gain knowledge about:

  • The general economic effects of pollution and environmental policies;
  • The economics of climate change;
  • The effectiveness of international environmental agreements;
  • The local economy effects of local environmental protection policies;
  • Which environmental and development policies work and which do not;
  • How to evaluate the effect of environmental and development policies.

Exam organisation

  • Written exam: 100%