WHEN AND WHERE The course is part of AU Summer University, which will take place at Aarhus University from 1-19 August. The application deadline is 15 March 2011. For more information about AU Summer University, please have a look at: www.asb.dk/summeruniversity
AIM OF THE COURSE Students learn about the term “Sustainable Development” and how to achieve sustainability in our world. They get a critical insight of economic growth and the meaning of development. This will be accomplished by applying macroeconomic theory and evaluating empirical evidence how to use unlimited and limited resources in the context of intergenerational equity.
MAIN ISSUES The term “Sustainable Development” has become common after the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Brundtland Commission Report (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) has made a great contribution by emphasizing the importance of sustainable development and by giving the most often-quoted definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The starting point of theory formation is the ethical idea of sustainability. It is based on obligations toward future generations and presupposes intergenerational equity. Concerning specific resources and services (e.g. fresh water, the atmosphere as a carbon sink, the wide variety of ecosystem) it is evident that continuing growth in this utilization rates is unsustainable. In this course a simple world model is the base for structuring a concept of sustainability. Analysts with different perspectives have applied criteria of sustainability which emphasize the ability of the economy to maintain living standards. This course examines these criteria. The main limit in our ecosystem is the carrying capacity for human influences controlled by the world population and their satisfaction of needs. The limits of ecosystems have an impact on our economic system if sustainability will be implemented. How should mankind deal with natural resources especially with non-renewables? How should mankind solve problems like poverty and wasting? What are the consequences for industrial and developing nations?
Contents of the course: • What is Sustainability? • The history of Sustainability • Ecological Economics and Sustainable Delopment • Main Problems of mankind (Wasting and Poverty, Environmental Degradation) • Importance of Sustainability • How to achieve Sustainability? • A simple model of the Earth o The ecological system o Resources and wastes o Population and satisfaction of needs • The huge goal of mankind: Sustainable Development • Consequences for industrial and developing nations
TEACHING METHODOLOGY The course will be a lecturing of theoretical aspects of macroeconomics and ecological economics. The students will get an insight to actual researches of sustainability. Examples and case studies will be included. Case studies will be performed as home work. The results will be presented in front of the class and discussed.
LEARNING OUTCOME The student’s learning outcome of the course is: • knowledge of the history of sustainability • general understanding of sustainability • critical insight to economic growth • knowledge of the difference between growth and development • understanding the main problems in the world: poverty and wasting • understanding the importance of sustainability • comprehension of the consequences for all nations in the world
EVALUATION OF LEARNING OUTCOME: ASSESSMENT CRITERIA By the end of the course students must be able to fulfill the above stated learning outcome.
Grade 12: Grade 12 denote 100% target fulfillment related to the learning outcome.
Grade 02: Grade 02 is the minimum grade required for passing and is therefore given for the minimum acceptable performance related to the learning outcome.
LITERATURE The following literature is the basic literature for the course but not mandatory to buy. The course consists on different references what will be procured during or before the course to the students.
1. Common, Michael and Stagl, Sigrid (2005): Ecological Economics: An Introduction, Cambridge. 2. Daly, Herman (1990): Towards Some Operational Principles of Sustainable Development. Ecological Economics 2, p. 1-6. 3. Daly, Herman (2007): Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development, Selected Essays of Herman Daly, Cheltenham. 4. Ekins, Paul (1993): “Limits to Growth” and “Sustainable Development”: Grappling with Ecological Realities. Ecological Economics 8, p. 269-288. 5. Lawn, Philip and Clarke, Matthew (2010): The end of economic growth? A contracting threshold hypothesis. Ecological Economics 69, 11, p. 2213-2223. 6. Meadows, Donella H., Meadows, Dennis L., Randers, Jørgen and Behrens, William W. (1972): The Limits to Growth, New York. 7. Meadows, Donella H., Meadows, Dennis L., Randers, Jørgen (1992): Beyond the limits: confronting global collapse, envisioning a sustainable future, New York. 8. WCED – World Commission on Environment and Development (1987): Our Common Future, Oxford.
Students should have a basic understanding of macroeconomics.
Maximum 50 students Seats are distributed according to: - Relevant education (BSc and BA) - Achieved ECTS - Grade point average on the achieved ECTS