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SDG332 Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

We will use economics to understand the many environmental problems that humans face today. These problems include climate change, pollution, sustainable energy, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and resource scarcity. We will apply economic theory to study potential solutions and understand economic policies that address environmental problems. Our topics include market failures, environmental valuation, cost-benefit analysis, risk and behaviour, sustainable development, and resource exploitation. The course consists of lectures, discussion sessions, and assignments. Students are required to have three assignments approved.

The course is a part of the The Norwegian West Coast SDG Educational Initiative at The Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences: Sustainable Economics, Management and Innovations (SEMI).

Learning Outcome


The student has broad knowledge on

- concepts: public, and common goods, efficient resource allocation, market failure, cost-benefit analysis

- institution types and environmental policy tools: taxes, quotas, standards, regulations, trade schemes, international agreements

- knowledge relevant for SDG goal 13, SDG11, SDG14, SDG14, SDG15 and partly SDG16


The student can

- identify relevant policy instruments for market failures related to the environment

- calculate welfare effects of environmental policies in stylized examples

- use cost-benefit analysis for assessment of regulations or investments

General Competence

The student

- have ability to understand the economics of environmental problems and identify market failures

- can critically assess advantages and disadvantages of environmental policies

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

Familiarity with basic economic theory is useful, but necessary principles will be covered when needed.

Teaching methods

Lectures, discussion sessions and assignments. Students are required to submit at least three written assignments that needs to be approved to qualify for the exam.

Compulsory learning activities

Three passed assignments


Written examination, 4 hours. The examination may be digital.

Grading scale is A-F where F is fail.

Examination support material

All calculator models are allowed, with the following exceptions:

  • the calculator should not have the ability to receive/send data
  • the calculator should not be able to process symbolic mathematical expressions
  • the calculator may not be connected to a power source
  • the calculator should not make noise

More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • ESB332 - Introduksjon til miljøøkonomi - Reduction: 7.5 studypoints