Lesson Plan: Measuring Value of Abatement for Climate Policy

As an Undergraduate Economics teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching about implementation of environmental policies by measuring the value of abatement.

This lesson plan will enable you to teach your students about assessing the benefits of abatement by analyzing a survey to measure the willingness of people to pay for climate change mitigation. Economists often face the problem of placing a value on the abatement of environmental damage, to set against the cost of implementing abatement policies. Amongst the various methods used to estimate the value of abatement are contingent valuation and hedonic pricing. In this lesson plan, students will be able to learn about the challenges of placing a value on abatement through a classroom exercise in contingent valuation of the willingness to pay (WTP) to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate climate change.

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Economics.

About Lesson Plan

Grade Level Undergraduate
Discipline Economics
Topic(s) in Discipline Value of Abatement, Contingent Valuation,

Hedonic Pricing, Willingness to Pay (WTP),

Cronbach’s Alpha

Climate Topic Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

Energy, Economics and Climate Change

Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance

Location Global, Germany
Language(s) English
Access Online, Offline
Time Required
90-120 min


Teaching Module

(30-45 min)

A teaching module to explain the measurement challenges of environmental policy, specifically the value of abatement.

This can be accessed here.

Classroom/ Laboratory activity

(60-75 min)

A classroom/laboratory activity to measure the willingness to pay for climate change mitigation.

This can be accessed here.


(20 min)

A research article that discusses the scope for cooperation in the climate commons.

This can be accessed here.


Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is the value of abatement in environmental policies?
  2. Why is it important to measure the value of abatement?
  3. How is the value of abatement measured?
  4. Why is estimating the value of abatement important for climate change mitigation?

Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.

1 Introduce the topic of value of abatement in environmental policies. 1.       Use the teaching module, ‘20.6: The measurement challenges of environmental policy’ by CORE to explain the need to measure the value of abatement in the implementation of environmental policy.

2.     This can be accessed here.

3.       Describe the different methods to measure the benefits of abatement- contingent valuation and hedonic pricing using the examples given in text. Explain the differences in these approaches and how these are used to measure how people value a change in their environment. Discuss how this is measured by the citizens’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the improved environment following the implementation of abatement policies. Enable student learning and evaluate understanding through the in-built exercises and questions.

4.       You may choose to navigate to the following sections (20.7-20.10) to explain how future technologies and lifestyles could affect people’s preferences, discuss why addressing climate change is so difficult, and why policy choices matter in implementing environmental policies.

2 Conduct a classroom/laboratory activity to measure the willingness to pay for climate change mitigation 1.       Use the project, ‘Measuring willingness to pay for climate change mitigation’ by CORE to conduct a classroom activity using data from an internet survey by the German government.

This project can be accessed here.

2.       The online survey was conducted to measure the citizens’ willingness to pay to reduce carbon emissions as a method of mitigating climate change. The data is made available in Excel, R, and Google Sheets formats.

3.       Direct your students to follow the instructions given in the text to analyze the data to answer the given set of questions.

4.       The activity will enable them to ‘construct indices to measure attitudes or opinions’, ‘use Cronbach’s alpha to assess indices for internal consistency’, ‘practice recoding and creating new variables’, and ‘compare survey measures of willingness to pay’.

3 Reading assignment to enable discussion on the willingness of individuals to contribute towards the common good in the face of climate change. 1.       Ask your students to read the research article, ‘Cooperation in the climate commons’ by Stefano Carattini et al., published by the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

This can be accessed here.

2.       Use the paper to initiate discussion on the willingness of individuals to reduce the demands on the environmental commons by adopting ‘green’ consumer behavior or by accepting expensive climate policies.

3.       Finally, use the review of cases and situations given in the text to discuss whether individuals are willing to cooperate towards climate change mitigation.

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