International Environmental Cooperation (N) (not offered)

ENE464 International Environmental Cooperation (N) (not offered)

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    1. Paradox of international environmental agreement. Why does cooperation fail when it is most crucial?
    2. Buying conservation. Prospects for use of side payments between countries and the role of private information. 
    3. International climate policies: Country-specific emission targets, uniform carbon tax or linking permit markets. Supply and demand side climate policies.
    4. Problems with unilateral emissions reduction: Carbon leakage, adaptation and geoengineering.

  • Learning outcome

    Most of the important environmental problems today require international cooperation. This course covers many topical questions in international environmental economics, such as the problems in creating stable environmental agreements, the best policy instruments to tackle climate change, and conservation agreements between countries. 

    The course will enable students to:


    • Understand the key strategic motives in international context, determining the optimal policy instruments and the ideal design of international agreements
    • Become familiar with the empirical literature on international environmental cooperation



    • Apply the relevant theoretical tools to formally analyze real-world environmental agreements and conservation contracts between countries
    • Identify the factors determining the success or failure of tackling international environmental problems

  • Teaching

    The course consists of lectures, two group assignments and one oral group presentation. In the course, students will be divided into groups of four, and each group will give a presentation of an existing international environmental agreement of their choice, applying the concepts and tools learned in class.

    Monday-Wednesday: 4 hours of lectures per day, two group assignments

    Thursday: No lecture, groups work on presentations

    Friday: Group presentations

  • Compulsory Activity

    Problem sets: Two group assignments will be posted during the course and students will have to hand in both. I encourage you to work cooperatively, but each student should turn in their own work in their own words.

  • Assessment

    Oral group presentation (groups of four): Each group will focus on an existing international environmental agreement and analyze that using the skills and techniques learned in lectures. Students will attend and discuss each other`s presentations.

  • Grading Scale


  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    Barrett, S. (1994). Self-enforcing international environmental agreements. Oxford Economic Papers, 878-894.

    *Barrett, S. (2001). International cooperation for sale. European Economic Review, 45(10), 1835-1850.

    Nordhaus, W. (2015). Climate clubs: overcoming free-riding in international climate policy. The American Economic Review, 105(4), 1339-1370.

    Harstad, B. (2011). The market for conservation and other hostages. Journal of Economic Theory, forthcoming

    Nordhaus, W. D. (2006). After Kyoto: alternative mechanisms to control global warming. The American economic review, 96(2), 31-34.

    *Weitzman, M. L. (2014). Can Negotiating a Uniform Carbon Price Help to Internalize the Global Warming Externality? Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 1: 29-49.

    Martin, R., Muûls, M., De Preux, L. B., & Wagner, U. (2014). Industry compensation under relocation risk: A firm-level analysis of the EU emissions trading scheme. The American Economic Review, 104(8), 2482-2508.

    *Barrett, S. (2008). The incredible economics of geoengineering. Environmental and resource economics, 39(1), 45-54.

    * van der Ploeg, F., & Withagen, C. (2015). Global Warming and the Green Paradox: A Review of Adverse Effects of Climate Policies. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 9(2), 285-303.

    Harstad, B. (2012). Buy coal! A case for supply-side environmental policy. Journal of Political Economy, 120(1), 77-115.

    Compulsory readings are denoted by *


ECTS Credits
Teaching language


Course responsible

 Assistant professor Lassi Ahlvik, Department of Economics