Economics of Natural Resources & the Environment

Green Economy, photo Philippe Put

Course ID: 
Year of Study: 
For Erasmus Students: 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will have proven knowledge and understanding of issues related to:

  • the economic function of natural resources
  • the impact of economic activity on environmental resources
  • the economic impacts of climate change
  • the management of water and soil resources
  • ecosystem services and their integration into national accounts

This knowledge is supported by advanced scientific textbooks and includes views arising from modern developments at the cutting edge of their cognitive field such as climate change and ecosystem services.

Based on acquired knowledge and skills, students will be able to:

  • approach issues of management and exploitation of natural resources and the environment in the private and public sectors by supporting arguments for solving environmental problems.
  • gather and interpret elements of environmental policy and environmental and economic indicators from the European and National databases and, in particular, the European Environment Agency and the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). Use these data to shape judgements that include reflection on sustainable development, corporate responsibility, and environmental awareness.
  • communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions of environmental issues to expert audiences but also to express the complex concepts of economic environmental management and valuation to the general public
  • acquire knowledge that they need to continue in further studies with a high degree of autonomy.

The course aims to embed and enhance:

  • a full understanding of the economic function of natural and environmental resources
  • searching, analyzing and compiling data and information,
  • an understanding of adjustments to the economic thinking framework
  • an understanding of the decision-making process
  • the knowledge of the problems of the international environment
  • interdisciplinary and teamwork for the approach of socially acceptable solutions
  • employing professional and ethical responsibility

Course Contents

Introductory Concepts: The environment and natural resources in economic thinking. Environmental issues today. Examples of predictions of the environmental situation and the economy.

Theoretical Framework: Economic concept of natural resources, classifications of natural resources. Static and dynamic efficiency. Property rights, external economies. Purchasing structures. Information and uncertainty. Cost-Benefit Analysis. Contingent valuation and travel costs.

Economics of Natural Resources: Exhaustible non - renewable natural resources. Energy resources. The energy market in Greece. Recyclable natural resources. Recycling in Greece and the European Union. Renewable natural resources: Forests, fishing and other renewable resources.

Environmental Economics: Pollution and contamination. Theoretical microeconomic models of external and pollution. Taxes and subsidies for anti-pollution and de-pollution. Tradable pollution permits. Environmental policy in the European Union and Greece.

Special Topics: Climate change. Impacts and projections. Climate change economy. The Kyoto mechanisms. Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGE) and global allocation mechanisms. Ecosystem services, physical capital and habitats. Mapping and Economic Evaluation of Ecosystem Services. Physical Capital and National Accounts - Main Framework-2012. Water policy in the European Union. Valuation and pricing of water services. Surface and groundwater, coastal natural resources.

Teaching Activities

Lectures (3 hours per week) and webminars using the Open course

Teaching Organization


Semester workload


39 hours (3x13)

Individual study and webinars

111 hours

Total number of hours for the Course (25 hours of work-load per ECTS credit)

150 hours (total student work-load)


  1. End of semester final written exam and optional participation in mid-term written exams.
  2. Mid-term exams (two written exams) count for 40% of the final grade.

Use of ICT

Webinars, and use of asynchronous educational platform e-class for storing education material and communicating with students.

Course Info

Teaching Hours: 
3 hours per week
ECTS Credits: 
Teaching Credits: 
Teaching Method: 

Current Tutors


Skuras Dimitrios

Skuras Dimitrios
Field of Expertise: 
Regional Economics, Economics of Natural Resources
Organic Unit / Lab: 
Laboratory of Industrial, Innovation and Regional Economics
Office Hours: 
Sabbatical leave

Reading List

Reading Recommendations: 
- Οικονομική Περιβάλλοντος και Φυσικών Πόρων, Tietenberg Tom, Lewis Lynne,
- Οικονομική Περιβάλλοντος και Φυσικών Πόρων, Κωνσταντίνος Μπίθας,
- Οικονομική των φυσικών πόρων και του περιβάλλοντος, Faucheux Sylvie, Noel Jean - Francois,