Carbon Innovation

Carbon Economics

This course examines the key issues of climate economics, and the tools that economists use to enhance understanding of these issues. It starts with an introductory overview of markets, considering how a well-functioning market mechanism can allocate resources efficiently. It then turns to a consideration of market failures, viewing anthropogenic climate change as a global externality, and the pros and cons of various policy instruments (e.g. carbon taxation and cap & trade) aimed at addressing this market failure and mitigating climate change. Attention then turns to the global dimension, exploring how game theoretic analysis can help to give insights into the difficulties of reaching effective global agreement on climate change mitigation. The course then explores the time dimension considering, inter alia, time discounting and the controversies surrounding the appropriate discount rate to use in the context of climate change, and the widely, but often loosely, used concept of sustainability. The course concludes by considering how irreversibility and uncertainty affect decisions about the timing and nature of investment in climate change mitigation.

The course can be undertaken as a stand-alone module or as part of Certificate, Diploma or MSc qualification at the University of Edinburgh. For more detailed information about this course, please review its DRPS entry in the University Course Catalogue.

University Course Catalogue


Climate Change Measurement

This course focuses on the two main ways to measure climate change impacts:

  • Carbon Footprinting and Auditing: this course will discuss the history of footprinting and eco-labelling and the various schemes which exist internationally. Students will be introduced to the various footprinting and labelling methodologies and how consistency and reliability is maintained through auditing. This course will cover product and corporate carbon footprinting in detail. Students will come away from the course with specific skills in the calculative practices associated with carbon accounting.

  • Ecosystem services are defined as the benefits that humans received from nature. Flows of ecosystem services are likely to be strongly affected by climate change. This part of the course explores the ways in which ecosystem services and changes in levels of services can be valued, measured and monetized by society, across the spectrum from aesthetic to extractive values. Both theoretical and practical applications of ecosystem valuation are explored through case studies of policies and projects. Real-world examples of ecosystem services being valued are presented, and current policy responses are examined including payments for ecosystem services projects, biodiversity offsets, certification schemes and REDD+. This part of the course encourages you to think creatively and critically about ecosystem services concepts and their use in varied valuation exercises.

The course can be undertaken as a stand-alone module or as part of Certificate, Diploma or MSc qualification at the University of Edinburgh. For more detailed information about this course, please review its DRPS entry in the University Course Catalogue.

University Course Catalogue


Energy and Climate

This course examines various energy related issues from a scientific, economic, social and political point of view. This course will investigate the benefits and downfalls of various energy sources including traditional fossil fuels, unconventional fossil sources, renewable energy, biomass, biofuel and nuclear energy. It will also cover the topics of energy security, social perceptions, energy policy and energy as a geopolitical tool.

The course can be undertaken as a stand-alone module or as part of Certificate, Diploma or MSc qualification at the University of Edinburgh. For more detailed information about this course, please review its DRPS entry in the University Course Catalogue.

University Course Catalogue