PhD Course – University of Copenhagen

Forward this page to a friend Resize Print Bookmark and Share

Sustainability Science Congress 2014 > Side events > PhD Course

­PhD Course in The Economics of Sustainability, Growth, and Climate Change


This course aims to provide solid background in the economics of sustainability, growth and climate change for PhD students and young researchers with no or very little background in economics but who have a strong interest in the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainability, growth, and climate change.

The course will cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of the economics of sustainability and growth and give examples of how economic theory and the application of economic theory can be applied to understand the complicated relations between sustainability and growth.


Copenhagen 16-21 October 2014
The Course is held in the days immediately preceding and conjunction with the IARU hosted Sustainability Science Congress.
A one-day ticket for October 22nd to the congress is granted as part of the PhD course.

Who can join

The course is open to all PhD students with a maximum of 20 participants. The course is particularly relevant for PhD projects where the interdisciplinary aspects play a role and for young researcher who wants to get insights in the economic aspects of sustainability, growth and climate change.

There will be no course fee for participants.

The course will address the following issues:

Introduction to principles in environmental economics

  • The economic principles related to sustainability
  • The economic principles related to economic growth
  • The links between sustainability, growth, and climate change

Welfare economics and the environment

  • Externalities, public goods, property rights, and market failure
  • Pollution control instruments
  • Taxes, marketable permits and subsidies
  • Dealing with uncertainty

Green accounting, genuine saving and sustainability

International climate policy (climate change mitigation)

  • Non-cooperative versus full cooperative mitigation behaviour
  • Game theory
  • Incentives to participate in global climate agreement

Economic aspects of adaptation to climate change

  • Economic and policy instruments to promote adaptation

Ethical principles underlying equity and environmental justice considerations in the climate change context

Discounting and the choice of a social discount rate

  • Time declining social discount rate
  • Equity weighting

Learning outcome

After completing this course, the participants will be familiar with:

  • The principal in environmental economic theory applicable to explore the complicated relations between sustainability, growth and climate change
  • The economic and policy instruments available to cope with challenges related to sustainability, growth and climate change
  • Empirical work dealing with sustainability, growth and climate change
  • State of the art of the research related to sustainability, growth and climate change

After completing the course, the students will be able to understand the key elements in environmental economics, sustainability, growth and climate change and have the knowledge to be part of interdisciplinary research were environmental economics is playing a key role.

Upon completing all the course activities, participants will be awarded 5 ECTS credits and a course certificate.

Organisers and lecturers

  • Professor Peder Andersen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen*
  • Professor Peter Birch Sørensen, Department of Economics, University of Copenhage*
  • Associate Professor Alex Dubgaard, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen*
  • Professor Kirsten Halsnæs, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Programme, Danish Technical University

  • International capacities in sustainability, growth, and climate change who participate in the congress

* also organisers

Course format/programme

The course will follow an interactive workshop style where lectures will be complemented with plenum discussions and presentations by the participants.

Applications and Requirements

Participants will be required to cover their own accommodation and transport to the course location. Upon admission to the course, participants will be provided with information on accommodation options.

Application for the course has closed

Letters of acceptance and the final course readings will be emailed to participants no later than 15th of September, 2014.

Participants will be required to submit a course paper after the 5 day intensive course in order to qualify for the 5 ECTS credits. The course paper should be no more than 3,000 words. Participant papers should address an issue in their research where the economics of sustainability and growth play a role. Further guidance on the paper will be emailed to the participants upon admission.

Participants should frame their papers according to the relevant stage in their research process in order to maximize the relevance of the paper to their individual project outcomes and milestones. Due to the limited word count, less relevant background and introduction to the project should be avoided, allowing for a more thorough discussion related to the spatial econometric issue. This will also allow for greater feedback during the course.

Questions regarding the course can be adressed to Peder Andersen