James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Abigail Thomas

I have just finished studying for an MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change at the London School of Economics, made possible by a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation. The course has provided me with an advanced understanding of a number of aspects of environmental economics and the issue of climate change. This included policy analysis, environmental appraisal, development and climate science, alongside much more. A main component of the course was the dissertation, for which I chose to explore the topic of agri-environmental schemes. This was of particular relevance to me, having grown up on a farm in South Wales, and I made the most of my background by speaking to many local farmers for my research. Other great aspects of the course included working closely with the world-class researchers I was taught by, the chance to meet other future environmental economists, and the numerous talks and events put on at the LSE, from top economists such as Ha-Joon Chang and Kate Raworth. Finally living in London was a great experience, with countless things to do and places to explore. None of this would have been available to me without the grant from the James Pantyfedwen foundation, given the huge costs of London life.

Enabled by the skills and knowledge I have developed on this course, later this year I will start as an assistant economist at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as part of the Government Economics Service. After a few years of this, I hope to move from the UK government to the Welsh government to continue my career as an environmental economist. I truly believe Wales is one of the best places to pursue such a career, having positioned itself as a green pioneer and being ahead of the curve on numerous environmental issues such as recycling and the plastic bag charge. I hope to be a part of maintaining this reputation. Ultimately, the James Pantyfedwen grant has given me the chance to do all of this.