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  3. Economic Tools for the Environment

Economic Tools for the Environment (ENST20004)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeENST20004
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject provides students with hands-on experiences in the use of economic tools to assess and develop environmental protection strategies. This includes methods for evaluating “environmentally friendly” products, projects and policies in terms of their benefits and costs. Benefits considered include marketed benefits, such as energy savings and avoided property losses, and non-marketed benefits, such as improvements in human health and conservation of biological diversity. Economic tools for solving environmental problems that will be considered in the subject include taxes on environmentally harmful activities, tax deductions for “environmentally friendly” activities, making polluters or “risk creators” pay for environmental damages, and allowing private ownership of environmental assets.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject students should:

  • Describe the challenges in estimating the benefits of environmental protection, including human health benefits and biodiversity benefits;
  • Select appropriate economic assessment tools for appraising "green infrastructure" investments, "green products" and environmental protection projects;
  • Discuss how economic tools can change people's incentives to protect and restore the environment;
  • Make reasoned, evidence-based arguments for applying economic tools to solve environmental problems.

Generic skills

  • Problem-solving: the ability to engage with unfamiliar problems and identify relevant solution strategies based on evidence and logical reasoning;
  • Critical thinking: consider which impacts of a project or product are likely to be important;
  • Contribute to multidisciplinary projects: contribute constructively to group projects involving members with different disciplinary backgrounds;
  • Communication: communicate results of their work to a broader group.

Last updated: 22 January 2019