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Presentation

RESD – Two year Master’s programme in 

Resource Economics and Sustainable Development

RESD offers a solid preparation in environmental economics, a critical understanding of the issues involved in sustainable development both from a theoretical and practical perspective and of the complex interactions between economic decisions, market forces, governmental policies and the environment.

Overview

The Paris Climate Agreement reached at COP21 last December 2015 reinforced the objective of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 C - and even further to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. According to the Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency (EEA), Europe has improved air and water quality, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improved waste recycling and waste management practices in recent years. But new, more courageous policies have to be implemented by the European Union to reach the ambitious goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% compared with 1990 levels by 2030, and by 80-95% by 2050. Moreover, by 2030 the European Union aims to increase energy efficiency by at least 27% and to increase the share of consumption from renewable energy sources to at least 27%.The European Commission has estimated that the long term shift to a greener, low-carbon economy by 2050 will require investments of an extra 270 billion euros a year (1.5 per cent of EU gross domestic product). These investment, together with national policies and investments aim at turning Europe into a low-carbon and highly energy efficient economy and will boost the economy, create jobs and strengthen the countries’ competitiveness.

Environmental economists with a strong background in economics and management, able to interact with engineers and chemists, thus with an interdisciplinary educational background, will play a crucial role in this process. This is the profile of RESD graduates, who are able to employ tools and standard methods in economics and management to environmental and resources related issues.

The main fields in which the environmental economist can be involved are the followings:

  • Waste management will become an ever-important regulatory function at the local level.  Agencies that manage waste both in Italy and in other European countries are facing increasing legislative and legal actions. Some of these agencies have sophisticated staff structures that employ environmental economists along with the usual unit of planners, and accountants.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to companies that take responsibility for their impact on society. Empirical evidence suggests that CSR is increasingly important for firms’ competitiveness. In 2014 the European Parliament ruled that disclosure of information on environmental, labor and human rights impact becomes mandatory for large companies. This will further the diffusion of CSR practices and enlarge CSR units in companies.
  • Environmental protection/natural resource economics, such as the introduction of environmentally friendly processes and practices within the local area to safeguard the economic sustainability of the businesses against rising expectations and the awareness of local inhabitants and companies for environmentally friendly behavior is commonly conducted by both, local governments and private enterprises; these activities necessitate of decision makers with the knowledge of decision making tools and environmental valuation methods.
  • Environmental and eco-innovation consulting has become a lucrative field and today some of the larger firms are hiring environmental economists.  In some cases an environmental economist can have an impact on the planning outcome and on project mitigation where some development features have an adverse environmental impact. Moreover, in several situations, eco-innovations and firms redesigning of their production process require a careful life-cycle assessment of products.
  • Project management/Strategic planning specialist/Urban economist opportunities arise for environmental economists within some of international agencies such as World Bank and its subsidiaries; some other opportunities lie in far off units of the non-profit world (conservation organizations and NGOs).  
  • Food and agricultural economics is one area where sustainability issues of practices related to food safety, crop fertilization and food production are of strategic importance and environmental and resource economists will play a crucial role in this field.  
  • Energy economics and policy: An Energy Economist plays a crucial role in the area of energy- economy-environment. S/he provides authoritative and objective information on supply and use of energy and highlights the opportunities and risks in today’s energy world.
  • Climate Change:  Both industrialized and developing countries are increasingly focusing on the need for mitigation and adaptation strategies in relation to climate change. This course aims to present, discuss and analyze different perspectives on global environmental change in general, and climate change, in particular. It covers themes such as (1) the vulnerability of communities in different parts of the world to the combined impacts of environmental and non-environmental stress, (2) international, regional and national adaptation policies, (3) interlinkages between environmental change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Environmental economists with a strong background in economics and management, able to interact with engineers and chemists, having therefore also an interdisciplinary educational background, will play a crucial role in this process. This is the profile of RESD graduates, who are able to employ tools and standard methods in economics and management to environmental and resources related issues.

Rankings and Recognition

2018 QS World University Ranking

University of Bologna is the only Italian University in the list of top 200 Universities according to the 2018 QS World University Ranking. According to the same source, the Department of Economics (the University structure offering RESD) is in the group between 51st and 100th position, and second in Italy.

Tilburg University Top 100 Worldwide Economics Research Schools Ranking

The University of Bologna is among the top 100 universities in the world in the "Tilburg University Top 100 Worldwide Economics Research Schools Ranking" for Economics disciplines, 29th in Europe and 2nd at the national level. According to this ranking, Bologna places as Washington University, just after Dartmouth College and ahead of Tsinghua University, and has recently overcome University of Paris I, Vanderbilt University, California Institute of Technology and Purdue University.

Excellent Department-  The Department of Economics has been selected by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research among the 14 excellent departments of our University.