Economic growth and consumerism are threatening our planet and the future of human kind. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to environmental sustainability, using a strongly interdisciplinary approach based on environmental science and economics. In Part 1, we define environmental sustainability and explain how environmental sustainability can be assessed in relation to renewable resources, non-renewable resources and pollution. We consider the main threats to environmental sustainability such as climate change, pollution and resource exploitation and how they arise from the economic-environmental system. In Part 2, we explore environmental threats and issues in more detail focusing on issues such as species extinction, deforestation, climate change, and fossil fuel burning. Throughout Part 2 we actively consider potential solutions to current global economic and environmental crises for example, through the development of green technology, renewable energy, resource efficiency, recycling of materials, and green infrastructure.
This module appears in the following module collections.
Contributes to BA Environmental Social Sciences; BSc Wildlife Conservation; BSc Human Ecology
Method of assessment
Exam (50%) Coursework (50%)
Group Report (15%)
Group Presentation (10%)
Common, M and Stagl, S. (2005) Ecological Economics: An introduction. 1st Ed. Cambridge University Press (Main Text)
Botkin, D.B. and Keller E.A. (2003) Environmental Science 4th Edition. Wiley.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On completion of the module students will understand:
• The relationship between the environment and economy.
• The fundamentals of economic theory with reference to the use and management of natural resources.
• The distinctive characteristics of natural resources from an economic perspective and how this impacts on their conservation and management.
• The role of government intervention in promoting sustainable management of natural resources.
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