Global Energy & Climate Policy Study Tour Blog

By Fadil Elobeid|July 16, 2019|News|2 comments

By CISD Students Aashika Doshi and Andy Garraway.

“If you really think that the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.” — Guy McPherson

In June, CISD students on the Global Energy and Climate Policy programme participated in an incredible and very pertinent study tour: according to the BBC, June was the hottest month on record, a record that will no doubt be broken sooner than we’d like! Students spent three days in Brussels and two days in Paris meeting energy industry representatives, politicians, government agencies and NGOs. Without the hard work and invaluable knowledge of Dr Harald Heubaum and Felicia Jackson, the study tour would not have had such insightful depth or breadth of meetings.

The week began with a series of meetings with representatives from a range of energy associations, including Ocean Energy Europe, Eurelectric, Solar Power Europe, The Alliance for Rural Electrification, Wind Europe and Eurogas, who shared insights into their policy work in Brussels and gave their views on the roles they saw their technologies playing in the low-carbon energy transition.

We also met with representatives of the European Commission who discussed how the work of DG CLIMA and DG ENER contributed towards meeting the EU’s 2030 decarbonisation targets. Our visit to the heart of Europe was topped off by an informal meeting with Alexandra Phillips, South East England MEP for the Green Party, who shared her inspirational thoughts on what we needed to do to avert the climate emergency and ensure a just transition.

After making the short hop to Paris, we  had a series of fascinating meetings with experts at the OECD, the IEA and UN Environment. Through conversations  with high profile leaders, we gained insight into the work these organisations are doing to provide policy makers with the evidence they need to take action on the climate and our environment. We were struck by the quality of the meetings and we hope they were equally struck by the insight we brought as budding energy and climate policy makers.

The positivity that was shown by each speaker showed how passionate they were about the need to make progress toward avoiding the worst extremes of our climate emergency and demonstrated their faith that renewable energy would be a key tool in our arsenal. The enthusiasm shown by speakers in particular from a number of senior level female executives, was infectious and we left each meeting a little bit more hopeful that change is possible. What was telling of students who had come before us was the high level of engagement: we were seen as industry colleagues rather than just students and our questions were always answered honestly and fully, no matter how challenging or controversial.


This study tour provided unique industry insights that cannot be found online or in any literature. It consisted of all the things one expects from a study tour from learning and cultural integration opportunities, to global and professional networking, as well as an opportunity to get to know your fellow students and lecturers better. Each talk created a stronger sense of a systemic shift coming to climate and energy policies around the world, further validating what the course had equipped us with. The study tour further highlighted that there is no particular profile that is required to play a part in making the change happen, instead there is a need for a variety of backgrounds and skillsets to positively reduce the impacts of climate change.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall

If you would like to attend evening seminars please sign up to the CISD website/mailing list.

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