Economics & Environment

Climate change and damages to the environment have been growing as a core concern across the world with different governments responding with different sets of policies. Along with this concern has also grown the skills and tools & techniques required to develop effective policies. This is where the study of economics together with environment has begun to attract attention. What follows is an illustrative set of courses, with their own special leanings and orientations, as the environment affects and is affected by many factors.

LSE offers an MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change because environmental economics “has been instrumental in informing policy across the world, for example in the creation of markets to efficiently regulate pollutants such as acid rain and carbon. Environmental and resource economics also informs the design of new instruments for the conservation of ecosystem services and the efficient use of natural resources, such as water and forests, and for the promotion of renewable energy and electric vehicles”. While everyone is aware of the costs involved, “how these costs and benefits are distributed between current and future generations is another important consideration. Valuation, and the behavioural and ethical issues that this gives rise to, is a major component of environmental and resource economics and another aspect of the MSc”.

(https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Graduate/degree-programmes-2021/MSc-Environmental-Economics-and-Climate-Change)

The MSc Economics and Environment (2021 entry) at SOAS “combines environmental concerns with development economics and political economy. It draws on the specific strengths of SOAS, namely expertise in development economics, multi-disciplinary environmental focus, and area specialisations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East”. As SOAS sees it, “the effects of development on the environment and access to resources is one of the most challenging fields that has grown over the past decades and is now one of the key areas of study”. (https://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/programmes/msceconenvdev/)

The Durham University Business School offers an MSc Environmental and Natural Resource Economics with the objective of equipping students “with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a career in economics and related disciplines. The programme consists of a set of core and elective modules, culminating in a practice- based business project or a research-based dissertation”. (https://www.dur.ac.uk/business/programmes/masters/masters-in-economics/environmental/)

UCL has chosen to combine policy and energy offering an Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc because “there is a growing need for highly qualified practitioners to analyse these complex issues and relate them to policy implications. UCL’s Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc trains students in the economics, policy and modelling skills needed to tackle global environmental challenges”. (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/economics-policy-energy-environment-msc)

Some Universities offer a management-oriented Masters in environment. The School of Business and Economics, Thomson Rivers University offers a Master in Environmental Economics and Management because “Worldwide economic growth currently faces sustainability challenges. As a result, there is an urgent global need for management practices that balance economic demands with sustainability”. It says that “TRU’s Master in Environmental Economics and Management (MEEM) prepares graduates to make major contributions to the field of economic sustainable management. They acquire a broad understanding of the business environment, advanced management skills and specialized knowledge in the emerging area of sustainability”.

(https://www.tru.ca/business/masters-degrees/master-in-environmental-economics-and-management.html)

Some look at the impact on human welfare. At the Amsterdam School of Economics of the University of Amsterdam, MSc Economics (Environmental Economics), helps “you explore which effect climate change will have on future welfare”. It seeks answers to questions such as “What is the link between human activities, economic development and environmental problems?” (https://ase.uva.nl/content/masters/economics-environmental-economics/economics-environmental-economics.html?cb)

And there are courses oriented towards natural resources.

The Vancouver School of Economics of The University of British Columbia offers a Masters in the Economics of the environment, Land economics, Economics of Renewable Resources etc and says that since 1990, it “has specialized in environmental and natural resource economics. Researchers in the field study how the economy and the environment interact across an array of topics, including trade, energy, transportation, food security, resource extraction, and environmental rule-making.

 (https://economics.ubc.ca/environmental-economics/)

At Colorado State University, “The Major in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics prepares students to apply economic tools to evaluate the allocation and utilization of natural resources and the management of the natural environment”. It goes on to say that “This major differentiates from other programs of study that address natural resource management in that it focuses on weighing the private and public implications of choices that we make ranging from a local through a global scale”.

(https://catalog.colostate.edu/general-catalog/colleges/agricultural-sciences/agricultural-resource-economics/environmental-natural-major/)

The Australian National University’s Master of Environmental and Resource Economics says that “Stringent economic analysis and global best practice have become critical to effective policy-making for environmental and resource issues such as water allocation and carbon emissions control. The Master of Environmental and Resource Economics (MERE) degree helps you take economic analysis to an advanced and specialised sphere, then apply these concepts to high-level environmental, resource management, and energy policy issues”. The University claims that The MERE program attracts a variety of participants. Ministers of finance for developing countries across Asia and the Pacific, as well as senior policy-makers working in central banks and national planning agencies, have completed the program to update their economics expertise in key development issues” (https://crawford.anu.edu.au/study/graduate-degrees/master-environmental-and-resource-economics).

Blending theory and quantitative techniques, The Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Group, Yale School of the Environment, accepts “a limited number of Ph.D. and Masters of Environmental Science students and provide extensive support and guidance.  In addition, there are several postdoctoral opportunities for outstanding candidates to work with the environmental economics faculty at Yale School of the Environment.  Graduate students in environmental economics are provided with a rigorous training in economic theory and econometrics while also given the tools for an interdisciplinary approach to environmental and natural resource management.  Throughout their time at Yale, environmental economics students work closely with their faculty advisors to ensure specialized preparation for individual research interests” (https://environment.yale.edu/groups/enre/).

At Penn State University, “The programs in Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics (EEFE) are designed to educate students as applied research economists in the fields of energy economics, environment and natural resource economics, and industrial organization in the food sector. The EEFE graduate program offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The M.S. degree is a research-oriented degree. Additional depth and breadth of training required in the EEFE Ph.D. curriculum will prepare students to conduct original research that advances scientific knowledge in their fields of specialization”.

(https://bulletins.psu.edu/graduate/programs/majors/energy-environmental-food-economics/)