As an undergraduate Economics teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching cost-benefit analysis.

This lesson plan will help students to understand the principles of cost-benefit analysis. The activities will allow students to apply cost-benefit analysis to global climate change, in general, and to carbon abatement (an action 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.

Cost Benefit Analysis

Questions

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

  • 1. Explain the principles of cost-benefit analysis
  • 2. What are the possible limitations of measuring the costs of climate change in terms of the GDP?
  • 3. How can cost-benefit analysis be applied to carbon emissions abatement?

Global Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve for 2030

About Lesson Plan

Grade Level Undergraduate
Discipline Economics
Topic(s) in Discipline
  • • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • • Carbon Abatement
  • • Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Climate Topic
  • • Energy, Economics, and Climate Change
  • • Policies, Politics, and Environmental Governance
  • • Mitigation
Location Global
Languages English
Access Online, Offline
Approximate Time Required 150 – 180 min

Contents

Reading (20 – 30 min) A reading that introduces the principles of cost-benefit analysis.

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/cba.htm

Reading (~45 – 60 min) A reading to discuss the economic analysis of climate change and specifically, cost-benefit studies of global climate change.

Ch. 2 (Economic Analysis of Climate Change), pg. 15-25 (Cost-Benefit Studies of Global Climate Change) http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/education_materials/modules/The_Economics_of_Global_Climate_Change.pdf

Classroom/ Laboratory activity

(~80 min)

A classroom/laboratory activity to perform cost-benefit analysis of carbon emissions abatement.

https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/carbon_emissions/unit5.html

Step-by-Step User Guide
Questions/Assignments
Learning Outcomes
Additional Resources
Credits
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 by using a reading
2.Discuss the topic in more detail by using another reading
3. Conduct a classroom/laboratory activity
 

Use the tools and the concepts learned so far to discuss and determine answers to the following questions:

  • 1. Explain the principles of cost-benefit analysis
  • 2. What are the possible limitations of measuring the costs of climate change in terms of the GDP?
  • 3. How can cost-benefit analysis be applied to carbon emissions abatement?

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  • • describe cost-benefit analysis
  • • apply cost-benefit analysis to global climate change
  • • apply cost-benefit analysis to carbon emissions abatement
If you or your students would like to explore the topic further, these additional resources will be useful.
Micro-lecture (video) A micro-lecture (video), “Quantifying the Economic Cost of Climate Change”, delivered by Solomon M. Hsiang, Climate Risk Expert and U.C. Berkeley Professor of Public Policy, from RMSConnection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNYZJD_llno
1 Reading, “An Introduction to Cost Benefit Analysis” Thayer Watkins, Department of Economics, San Jose State University
2 Reading, “Economic Analysis of Climate Change: Cost-Benefit Studies of Global Climate Change” from “The Economics of Global Climate Change” Jonathan M. Harris, Brian Roach, and Anne-Marie Codur, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University
3 Classroom/Laboratory activity, “Abating Carbon Emissions” Gautam Sethi (Bard College), Curt Gervich (SUNY Plattsburgh), and Robyn Smyth (Bard College); available on SERC’s InTeGrate portal
4 Additional Resources Solomon M. Hsiang, Climate Risk Expert and U.C. Berkeley Professor of Public Policy; from RMSConnection
5 Images http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/education_materials/modules/The_Economics_of_Global_Climate_Change.pdf
All the teaching tools and images  in our collated list are owned by the corresponding creators/authors/organizations as  listed on their websites. Please view the individual copyright and ownership details for each tool by following the individual links provided. We have selected and analyzed the tools that align with the overall objective of our project and have provided the corresponding links. We do not claim ownership of or responsibility/liability for any of the listed tools.