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Syllabus for

Academic year
UNA016 - Environmental policy instruments
Syllabus adopted 2011-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPTSE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: C

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0105 Examination 6,0 c Grading: TH   6,0 c   15 Mar 2014 am V,  16 Jan 2014 pm V,  25 Aug 2014 pm M
0205 Examples class 1,5 c Grading: UG   1,5 c    

In programs

MPTSE INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Professor  Thomas Sterner


UNA015   Environmental policy instruments

Course evaluation:


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic knowledge in environmental science or environmental engineering. Preferably some prior knowledge of economics.


This course is intended to give an overview of applied environmental economics with particular emphasis on the design of policies in the area of environmental and natural resource management.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

- describe how environmental policy instruments work;
- describe the influence of a certain policy instrument both on incentives for technical change and on the distribution of costs in connection to environmental improvement;
- describe the political game around policies and give concrete examples of pressures that different firms or other polluters can use to accomplish their agenda concerning policy choices.
- describe how policies should be selected and designed so as to meet not only the criteria of efficiency but also of equity, political feasibility and other criteria.


The course will give an overview of why economics policies are needed in the area of pollution and resource management as well as a survey of the policy instruments that are available. Finally it will explain theories of policy selection and design. Considerable attention will be paid to integrating economic modeling with actual issues in real economies. The course will be based on Sterner (2003).


The course will consist mainly of lectures but also contain some exercises that require access to a computer room.


Sterner, T., Policy Instruments for Environmental and Natural Resource Management, RFF press in collaboration with the World Bank and Sida, Washington DC, November 2002. ISBN 1-891853-13-9 & ISBN 1-891853-12-0.

Additional articles.


Examination of the course will include one written exam accounting for 80% of the marks given and one group exercise accounting for the rest.

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.