The course aims to offer students an in depth overview of the main problematics related to climate change, its social-economic consequences, its potential management. More specifically, the course will introduce students to climate change as an economic problem; to the application of the different methodological approaches and tools economics uses to study and evaluate climate change impacts and policies and of their results; will present the challenges pertaining to such evaluation (presence of uncertainty, long-term time scale, large spatial scale, existence of non-market goods and services); will examine strengths and weaknesses of the different climate change policy instruments. Finally, it will provide an overview of the international climate change negotiation process.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course students will get a comprehensive knowledge of the climate change issue; will understand trade off and complementarities across mitigation and adaptation strategies to contrast climate change; will be familiar with pros and cons of different policy instruments; will get acquainted with the major integrated assessment methodologies and results; will be up to date with the international climate change negotiation process. This knowledge will enable student to interpret critically the results of the rapidly expanding body of economic literature assessing the effect of climate change impacts and policies, will expand students capacity to think in an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary fashion; should improve students' ability to conduct independent research in these areas.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Climate change as an economic problem; challenges related to the economic assessment of climate change impacts and policy: risk, uncertainty, ambiguity, equity, discounting, non-market non-use values. Cost effective and efficient mitigation policies, strengths and weaknesses of different implementation instruments. History and economics of international environmental agreement; coalition formation in the presence of strategic behaviour: free riding, carbon leakages, stability and profitability issues. Adaptation policies and interaction with mitigation. Climate models, economic models and Integrated Assessment models.
Prerequisites for admission
Math and microeconomics, environmental and natural resource economics
Teaching activity is based upon taught lectures and class presentation/discussion of group assignements that are considered part of the learning material.
R.S.J. Tol (2014) "Climate Economics" Edward Elgar eds.; lecture notes; technical summaries from the last available IPCC Assessment Report (currently the V)
Assessement methods and criteria
The verification of acquired skills is based upon (a) a written exam composed by two open questions: one theoretical and one consisting in the solution of an applied exercise (b) the drafting of an essay to be prepared as a group work and to be presented as a seminar during the lectures. The topics for the essay will be assigned by the teacher. Groups will be composed by 3 to 5 students. The essay will contribute with a maximum score of 4/30 to the final total evaluation. Students not attending classes are not requested to participate to the group work. In their case their evaluation will be based solely on the written exam.