Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Policymakers are increasingly concerned about natural resource scarcity and the costs of waste and emissions from economic activity. Their strategic tools to address these environmental problems will impact on the way business is conducted and are particularly pertinent in developing countries that are subject to significant population growth.

This subject explores how markets fail in the management of natural resources and the prevention of externalities ranging from transport congestion to climate change. The ability of markets to adjust to environmental challenges through price and technology changes is examined. Government policies aimed at promoting market adjustment to sustainable development are then presented. A portfolio of strategic tools are analysed including green taxation, marketable permits and peak load pricing, which are all designed to address diverse environmental problems. An understanding of these policy strategies is increasingly important for successful planning by business.

Availability2021 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Assess competing theoretical arguments about interactions between the economy and the natural and built environment;

2. Demonstrate a deep analytical understanding of contemporary public policy issues of relevance to the environment;

3. Access and analyse economic and environmental data which are pertinent to contemporary debates internationally;

4. Engage in critical thinking through the comparative assessment of competing theoretical and policy frameworks;

5. Engage in team processes to analyse and communicate data outcomes.


This course includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  1. Environmental valuation & cost benefit analysis
  2. Market failure: externalities and property rights
  3. The impact of population growth
  4. Non-renewable resources
  5. Renewable resources
  6. Rural and urban land use
  7. Pollution and climate change
  8. Transport: congestion and emissions
  9. Recycling and waste management
  10. Sustainable development and international environmental policy

Assumed knowledge

Students are expected to have advanced to third year courses.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Mid-Semester Examination

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Discussion Questions

Written Assignment: Group Project

Formal Examination: Final Examination

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Students are expected to complete 4 hours of guided learning via online preparation, lectures, interactive workshops, tutorials, discussion groups or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.