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The subject focuses on the development and critical assessment of a range of past, current and proposed environmental policies in Australia, Europe, the US and other parts of the world. The subject covers a range of topics including energy, transport, biodiversity loss, fisheries management, rural and urban water use, air pollution, and climate change. Policy instruments covered in class include taxes, rebates, fees, permit trading, bans, informational policies, and legal instruments. Real-world issues and real-world policy responses are compared and discussed. The subject equips students with a set of economic principles and decision-framework that can help develop arguments for or against environmental policies. Students will learn about innovative policy solutions as well as policies with potential pitfalls and unintended consequences.
Intended learning outcomes
Critically evaluate different regulatory approaches for dealing with environmental degradation;
Explain the difference between command-and-control and incentives-based policy instruments;
Explain the causes of market failure and their relationship to environmental problems;
Assess the reasons for and evaluate the effects of government intervention;
Understand the difference between taxes, tradable permits, subsidies, legal and information-based instruments, design standards and how they may be used to address environmental problems;
Apply the theories discussed in class to real-world environmental issues, including water use, energy use, climate change, pollution control, biodiversity, and fisheries management.
- High level of development: oral communication; written communication; application of theory to practice; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information.
- Moderate level of development: collaborative learning; problem solving; team work; statistical reasoning; interpretation and analysis; accessing data and other information from a range of sources; receptiveness to alternative ideas.
- Some level of development: use of computer software.
Last updated: 2 December 2019