Search type

School of Social Sciences

Students outside a lecture theatre at The University of Manchester
BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Climate Change Economics and Policy

Unit code ECON32111
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Economics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


See course Blackboard pages.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Environmental Economics IIA ECON20101 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics IIB ECON20352 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
ECON32111 Climate Change Economics Pre-requisites: ECON20352 (Microeconomics IIB) or ECON20101 (Environmental Economics IIA).

In addition to ECON20101, students must also have taken at least one of the following to be able to take this course unit (compulsory Pre-Requisite):

  • ECON10001 or
  • ECON20281 or
  • ECON10071


The aims of this course are to:

  1. Introduce students to recent research developments in climate change economics & policy analysis by providing an overview of concepts, formal techniques and a range of practical applications.
  2. Develop students understanding and ability to critically reflect on the use of these formal methods and quantitative analytical techniques to support decision making in the climate change context.
  3. Equip students to participate in discussion of climate change policy through an economic lens.
  4. Provide students with the knowledge and skills required for writing a position paper on a topic covered in the course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will:

  1. Have a solid understanding of humans’ role in global climate change, the inter-temporal efficiency of climate change mitigation measures, and the international distribution of responsibility for climate change policy.
  2. Be able to identify why market institutions fail in protecting the local and global environment, and describe and articulate effective ways to encourage more coordination and cooperation, design better incentive structures, and promote more protection.
  3. Be familiar with the main recent statistics and policies with respect to climate change and its mitigation in the UK and internationally and they will be able to explain the economics methods used to analyse and support decisions on mitigation efforts.
  4. Have developed a rigorous and critical understanding of mitigation approaches and climate policies from an economic perspective.


Topic 0: Introduction to the Course.

Topic 1: Measuring Climate Change, CO2 and the Link between them.

Topic 2: Uncertainty and Climate Damages in Economic Terms.

Topic 3: Mitigation, Discounting or How to Compare Present and Future Consumption.

Topic 4: Pulling it together: Economic Integrated Assessment Modelling.

Topic 5: Policy Instruments and What is used in Practice.

Topic 6: International Environmental Problems.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and exercise classes.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Synthesis and analysis of information. Critical reflection and evaluation of research.
The course assignment requires students to investigate in greater detail a specific problem and come up with a policy proposal. Planning independent work using library, electronic and online resources. Using reporting skills.
Written communication
Information retrieval. Time management. Applying subject knowledge.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%
  • Final Exam - 1.5 hours (70% of overall mark).
  • Assessed Coursework - position paper (30% of overall mark).

Feedback methods

  • For the position paper you will receive detailed instructions. Feedback will be given twice (on your first idea for your position paper and outline, respectively).
  • Mock exams.
  • Series of quiz questions (Blackboard) covering topics in each lecture.
  • Class feedback.
  • Office hours.
  • Discussion boards.

Recommended reading

The main textbooks are:

  • Tol, R.S.J. (2014), Climate Economics: Economic Analysis of Climate, Climate change and Climate Policy, Edward Elgar.
  • Some chapters from: Perman, Ma, Common, Maddison and McGilvray. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Fourth Edition. Addison Wesley
  • The relevant specific chapters will be indicated before each lecture.

Assigned empirical/applied papers: The text book material will be supplemented with a limited number of assigned empirical/applied papers for each lecture.  This information will be on Blackboard well in advance of each lecture. There will also be some class handouts.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 16
Practical classes & workshops 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 77.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Grada Wossink Unit coordinator

Return to course details