Course syllabus for Policymaking for climate action and circular economy

The course syllabus contains changes
See changes

Course syllabus adopted 2023-04-05 by Head of Programme (or corresponding).


  • Swedish namePolicymaking för klimat och cirkulär ekonomi
  • CodeFSC005
  • Credits5 Credits
  • OwnerFRIST
  • Education cycleFirst-cycle
  • Main field of studyGlobal systems
  • GradingUG - Pass, Fail

Course round 1

  • Teaching language English
  • Application code 99141
  • Maximum participants200
  • Minimum participants25
  • Open for exchange studentsNo

Credit distribution

0123 Examination 5 c
Grading: UG
1 c4 c
  • 15 Dec 2023 pm J DIG
  • 15 Mar 2024 pm J DIG
  • Contact examiner DIG

In programmes


Go to coursepage (Opens in new tab)


Information missing


In the wake of the increased pace of ongoing sustainability transitions, environmental policies are becoming more comprehensive, complex, and demanding. The purpose of this course is to give participants an introduction to a portfolio of environmental policy instruments and how to approach these skillfully in their own practice or future work.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  1. describe and recognize how the market mechanism works and relate it to market failures that underlie environmental problems
  2. describe and recognize how environmental policy instruments work
  3. differentiate the influence of different policy instruments both on incentives for technical change and on the distribution of costs in connection to environmental improvement
  4. recognize how to increase efficiency and reduce pressure on ecosystems by following principles for a circular economy
  5. identify which environmental policy instruments that are key to climate and circular economy efforts for the sectors transport, building and energy, and be able to discuss aspects of political feasibility policy instruments
  6. recognize the importance of environmental/climate policy design to reach set targets and be able to identify how to advance one¿s own knowledge and skills on the topic
  7. recognize key policy factors for managing the current Swedish/European Energy crisis in a context of climate policy


The course content serves to assist in learning why we have environmental challenges and what we can do to solve them. The course will introduce content in two areas:
  • Policy instruments for environmental challenges such as climate change, the energy crisis, pollution and management of scarce resources. These include: taxes, subsidies, direct regulation, tradeable permits, congestion fees, information etc. Principles for a fair distribution of global responsibility, theories of policy selection and design, climate negotiations and a description of the policy-making process are also covered.
  • Basic economics concepts and models underpinning policy instruments are explained. This includes for instance market mechanism, supply and demand, market failures, and circular economy.
To learn from the experience of thought leaders from a few key sectors of our economy, you will be able to view interviews and podcasts with experts who talk about the role and implications of policies to their work and the sustainability transitions of their industry. The role of information and disinformation in the public debate about the climate challenge and the preconditions for policymaking will also be touched upon.


The course uses a combination of online sessions, digital learning resources, individual assignments, and group work. Online sessions include academic lectures, guest lectures from industry, seminars, and workshops. The digital learning resources include video clips, self-assessment quizzes, academic literature, case studies of environmental challenges and more. Online resources are organized into structured learning sequences in an online learning management system, where online material and synchronous online sessions are coordinated. New to this course is a guide for improved study technique which introduces how to enhance your learning using artificial intelligence tools. Participants will be divided into study groups to facilitate peer learning and exchange. Study groups are only used for certain parts of the course, to allow more flexibility in the pace at which participants take the course. This course version (5 hp) is intended mainly for practitioners but can be suitable also for students. The extended version of the course (called "Policymaking for climate action and circular economy, including course project") is intended for: i) practitioners who wish to engage more thoroughly in the course topic together with students and ii) for students who wish to study a 7.5 hp course.


The main course literature is the book Sterner, T., & Coria, J. (2012). Policy Instruments for the Management of Natural Resources and Ecos. Policy Instruments for Environmental and Natural Resourse Management (Second Edi, Vol. 53, Issue 9). RFF Press. In addition to this book the will be a set of shorter texts in the online learning platform of the course.

Examination including compulsory elements

Pass level on at least 3 out of 4 hand-ins. Attendance on at least 50% (of about 10) organized online sessions. Pass the final exam.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

The course syllabus contains changes

  • Changes to course rounds:
    • 2023-09-05: Examinator Examinator Fredrik Carlsson (frcarlss) added by Viceprefekt
      [Course round 1]
  • Changes to module:
    • 2023-09-25: Digital exam Changed to digital exam by Examinator
      [0123 Examination 5,0 credit] Changed to digital examination