Lesson Plan: Teaching Cost-Benefit Analysis through Climate-related examples

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


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


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


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.


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

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13