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Course Details

Course Number: 90-828

Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Growth in the 21st Century

Units: 12

The scientific community has concluded that human industrial activities are causing global temperatures to increase. Coping with the environmental, economic, and political consequences of this change is considered by many to be the preeminent public policy challenge of the 21st century. In this course, we will investigate the basic science of climate change and the prospective economic impact of global warming. We will also study the prospects and feasibility of the alternative energy and transportation technologies available to us, drawing upon the deep reservoir of technological expertise available here at Carnegie Mellon. The heart of this course will be an in-depth analysis of the policy options the United States and the global community could adopt to mitigate the climate change challenge while still allowing for robust economic growth and development. We will investigate the economic costs of the various options and the way political realities are likely to shape and constrain policy at the national and international levels. Current and former officials at the state and national levels will offer an assessment of recent energy and climate change policy and the prospects for future policy change. The instructor, Professor Lee Branstetter, served as a Senior Economist at President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers in 2011-2012.

Prerequisites: Introductory economics required at the level of 90-710 or equivalent.

Who should take this course:
Anyone who is interested in understanding the realities of ongoing global climate change, its economic and social impact, and the policy alternatives available to the human race at the beginning of the 21st century. The course will be open to masters students in Tepper and the Heinz School as well as upper level undergraduates from H&SS, CIT, and SCS.


Lee Branstetter