Mexican student Juan Pablo Martinez Lizarraga was driven to study Environmental Economics by concern for the planet (which grew into a love of Galway).

The ongoing climate crisis is – if you think even remotely like I do – quite simply the most important issue of our time (and maybe even history). That probably sounds like an exaggeration but it’s something I have been concerned about for some time after having realised a couple of years ago how urgent the whole situation is. This is why I considered doing an MSc in Global Environmental Economics at NUI Galway.

Here are my four reasons for doing a Master’s in Environmental Economics in Galway and why you should also consider it:

Relevance of the topic

If you’ve been even slightly attuned to the current news cycle (or even just glanced through social media), you may have noticed how climate change is now starting to become more and more evident. And, considering the narrowing window of time, it is clear that we need to start acting now.

Simply put, the topic of climate change is everywhere and will keep being everywhere until we are able to take appropriate action. Doing a Master’s in something related to climate change is a good idea because demand for taking action will only grow from here. In other words, there probably will be job opportunities for it.

Impact of economics on climate change

The climate crisis is fundamentally a problem of economics. Our current economic system is largely to blame for the uncontrolled carbon emissions that are the main cause of climate change; major adjustments to our economic system will be necessary to fix the issue.

My MSc has helped me to fully understand how we got here in the first place and the kind of action economists can take to address the issue. The role of economists will be crucial to ensure that we can successfully tackle climate change while making sure that all of society’s needs are being met at the same time.

The challenge is massive but it is surprising to see how much research already exists on the economics side of things. It is really fascinating to learn all about it.

NUI Galway’s focus on sustainability

NUI Galway is an ideal university for a Master’s like this. With a very clear sustainability strategy, NUIG is putting in a massive effort to become one of the most sustainable campuses in Ireland and Europe. There are over 230 sustainability modules across all courses, so there is plenty to choose from for everyone with an interest in the environment and sustainable development.
It also helps a lot that there are over 3,000 students from more than 110 countries so there are lots of good ideas and different perspectives discussed all the time. You will not only learn in your lectures but also outside of them.

Galway is an inspiring place

Galway is a beautiful coastal city that’s also very close to some incredible landscapes and breathtaking natural places such as the Aran Islands or Connemara. Being in such close proximity to nature reminds you how important it is to take care of our planet and how we need to keep pushing harder to fight climate change.

Also, Galway is a very nice and compact city, so you can move around easily with a bike or using public transport. It’s easier to live sustainably in a city like Galway and it’s definitely the best setting for a Master’s in Environmental Economics.