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Global Environmental Economics

Module description


This course uses economic tools to analyse global environmental challenges and potential regulatory options to address these challenges. It can be divided into two parts. The first part deals with transboundary pollution and climate change. It discusses several policies to address the relevant environmental externalities. The second part of the course analyses how globalisation affects local pollution and the depletion of renewable resources.


Additional Information:


This module covers theory, empirics and practical aspects of environmental and resource economics as well as international trade to help students acquire technical skills that are applicable across a wide range of economic issues.



Students develop their technical, analytical and discursive skills, as well as their understanding of the complexities involved in addressing global environmental problems by engaging with high-end research in the field.



All of the resources for this module are accessible on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

Full module specification

Module title:Global Environmental Economics
Module code:BEE3067
Module level:3
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Sabrina Eisenbarth - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEE2025, BEE2026, BEE2034



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

 module is designed to provide students with an up to date understanding of some of the global environmental challenges such as climate change. The module uses core economic principles to highlight potential regulatory options to reduce pollution und use resources in a sustainable way. 

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate how to apply economic principles to a wide range of real world problems including the incorporation of the natural environment within economic analysis;
  • 2. demonstrate how to apply economic reasoning to policy issues in a critical manner;
  • 3. demonstrate knowledge in an appropriate number of specialised areas in economics, as well as an appreciation of the research literature in these areas.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. understand the economic basis behind current policy debates on environmental challenges;
  • 5. critically assess different policy proposals.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. deliver coherent argument in written work, including coherent arguments for complex and often emotive policy and social issues;
  • 7. demonstrate analytical and critical thinking.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities20Lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities5Tutorials
Guided Independent Study125Reading, Research, Reflection, Preparation for exam and coursework

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Exercises to be discussed during tutorialsBi-weekly tutorial sheets1-7Discussions in tutorials plus solution guidelines to be posted on ELE

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination502 hours1-7Answers posted online
Essay501,500 words 1-7Answers discussed in tutorial. Feedback form

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination (50%)Examination (2 hours, 50%)1-7August/September Reassessment Period
Essay (50%)Essay (1,500 words, 50%)1-7August/September Reassessment Period

Syllabus plan

Transboundary pollution/climate change

This part of the module focuses on transboundary pollution and global environmental challenges such as climate change. It discusses selected international policies to address the relevant externalities.  


Effects of international trade on pollution

Trade can affect the environment directly due to emissions from transport or indirectly. Trade changes the composition of production due to specialization in either cleaner or dirtier products. Moreover, trade may lead to adjustments in optimal environmental policy due to income effects. Furthermore, trade could facilitate the use of cleaner production technologies. This part of the module also covers the pollution haven hypothesis, which argues that pollution production concentrates in countries with lenient environmental policy.


Trade in renewable resources (fisheries or forests)

We investigate how international trade affects resources stocks in exporting and importing countries and show that trade can have negative welfare effects for exporters of renewable resources.

The module will include topics from the list above, but the syllabus may be subject to minor changes.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

The course materials will primarily rely on scientific papers and relevant textbook chapters. More details will be provided at the start of the module.


Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date