M2 Choice – Environmental and Natural Resources Economics (ERNA)

Current Student – Charlotte Chemarin

Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging? 

I think one of the most challenging aspects is that we have a lot of oral presentations to do – at least one per course. It is something I am not comfortable with. Nevertheless, I know it is important to develop oral skills, so it is useful. We also read a lot of academic papers and have many group projects – but still less work than in M1, no worries.

Which was your favourite course(s) and why? 

I prefer courses that are more applied and that teach us practical skills. I also like Mr Amigues’s classes where we can challenge our beliefs and see things differently, regarding, for example, economic growth and the environment, management of biodiversity, pollution, etc.

The truth is that I am really interested in environmental topics and it is motivating to finally focus on it in every course. Hence, I enjoy this year more than the previous ones.

What do you plan to do next?

It is always tricky to answer this kind of question. To be honest, I do not know yet – and hopefully I am not the only one. I want to work in environment-related topics for sure, perhaps more precisely on agriculture and resilience. This is why I am doing my M2 internship at the INRAE. I hope it will help me figure out what I want to do.

M2E_E_Current StudentCurrent Student – Jérémy Ferrante (Economics and Ecology Path)

Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

Considering the double approach of our master program, it is quite normal for students from an ecology background to struggle with some principles of economics, and vice-versa. I had already completed a master’s degree in socio-environmental management prior to my arrival here at TSE, and this previous formation included very little mathematics, let alone economics! So, quite naturally, the most requiring parts of this whole Ecology and Economics program were to be found, in my opinion, in some mathematical aspects of economic theories. Though it has been manageable so far.

 Which was your favourite course(s)and why?

I would say that the classes we followed in the CNRS research center in Moulis (Ariège) were both the most exciting and most original classes I had this year. They were about many topics, such as environmental modelling, economic valuation, or even philosophy of sciences. Moreover, some of them were conducted following the problem-based learning approach, which favors autonomy and “cross-learning” between students.  However, for me, the most enriching courses were probably the more “conventional” ones in pure economics, as I was almost ignorant of everything in this field. For instance, Non-Market Valuation with Mr. Henrik Andersson, or, in the second semester, Ecosystem Management and Policies with Mr. François Salanié.

What do you plan to do next?

Here comes the big question! Well, my usual answer is that I have always proceeded one step at a time. And I plan to do just that in the upcoming years. For now, I found an internship at EDF, on the economic opportunities related to the sediment sludges, a by-product of hydropower generation. As for what’s coming next, who knows? One step at a time.

 

M2ERNA_AlumniAlumni – Valérie Furio, Climate Policy Initiative

What are you up to now?

I am currently in London working for Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) as an Analyst in the Climate Finance program, where I was hired after a summer internship that I completed for my M2 ERNA. The CPI is a non-profit international research organisation, with the climate finance program focused on advising policymakers and financial actors on how to achieve a Paris Agreement-aligned economic growth and development through finance. This ultimate goal is approached from several angles: tracking of climate finance flows, advising governments and development finance institutions on their climate finance portfolio, and the development of innovative financial instruments.

Despite having joined the organisation less than a year ago, I have been involved in many different projects. For example, I have worked on tracking finance flows (essentially collecting and consolidating data, then providing an analysis of it) for energy access – looking at technologies enabling access to electrification, as well as clean cooking technologies and fuels, which is a topic with interesting development implications. Another project I worked on was to help an institution develop an air pollution bond, which is an innovative financial instrument issued by a municipality, with proceeds going to financing air pollution reduction projects in the city. These are just examples of projects, but the work is varied and fascinating and can go from looking into blockchain insurance for smallholder farmers to the role of subnational governments in climate finance, or from the financial barriers women face in accessing energy to how data can be leveraged to track private finance. We are also encouraged to think of ways to improve methodologies and come up with new research proposals, which is an exciting part of working for CPI as we feel involved in the organisation’s development.

Which skills, acquired from studying at the TSE, have you found useful? 

The ERNA M2 is a great preparation for many different types of work in this space – whether that be with a focus on energy, climate change, development, or public policy evaluation, the master has at least one class focused on these topics that will help explore these interests. The class on green policies is a staple for understanding the wider context, as well as the energy economics and climate policy class. However, my work at CPI is quite wide in scope and I found that all my classes in ERNA provided useful insight. As always, familiarity with econometric methods and program evaluation are useful when doing a quality literature review, and the knowledge of programming languages such as R and Python are useful to our work and increasingly employed, as well as SQL.

Last but definitely not least, writing and communications skills are highly valued in organisations like  CPI, and thus participating in the TSEconomist was an excellent way of honing those skills in a school like TSE – I would highly recommend it!