Energy Environment 11 April, 2019 11:00 am   
Editorial staff

How to write about energy transformation? The CLEW Conference in Berlin (REPORT)

The Clean Energy Wire conference in Berlin gathered journalists and experts covering energy transformation who discussed how to write on shifs on the energy market which are necessary to fight against climate changes. 

We need a carbon tax. At the same time, it is necessary to deal with the distribution of income coming from this tax. Yellow vests protests show that energy transformation can produce a great political risk, said Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer from the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

In his opinion, climate policy must be a part of fiscal policy in the future. The Germans want to quit coal and in the next step electrify their transport. Revenue from conventional transport is 40 billion euros per year. According to the researcher, when it starts to decline, a new financial source will be needed, and green technologies can replace it. We are in a new stage of climate policy, and it must be based on taxes, and economic premises. This policy can be an opportunity for society, not a burden, concluded prof. Ottmar.

Andreas Kluth, editor-in-chief of Handelsblatt Global, argued that the media can support the debate on climate policy and everything depends on their determination. – Every society has the media it deserves for – he was convincing, referring to de Maistre’s quote about politicians who says that modern media must operate at the intersection of the various subjects and combine seemingly distant issues: technology, social policy and political science.

We deal with a transnational problem, but we still address it creating media reports which are focused only on domestic affairs. Clean Energy Wire helps to prepare multinational media reports, said Kluth referring to the conference hosts actions. 

Dr Frank Pawlitschek, Co-founder and President of the Ubitricity company, argued that journalists need to learn how to use technology to combat climate change. The solutions presented by them have to convince the readership that they are feasible and money and time worthy, however their implementation may be inconvenient, said Pawlitschek. 

In his opinion, this attitude is a key factor to get support from journalists. At the beginning you are small, you work in a niche and you need money. Whatever you write affects the investor’s portfolio, which can then provide you with funds – he stressed.

Kerstin Rippel, Head of Communications at 50Hertz Transmission, which is one of the transmission system operators in Germany, said that media are losing credibility because of social media supremacy. – Traditional media need to find a new role for themselves, for example by showing a wider perspective, undertaking various initiatives and encouraging discussion, she said. Rippel stressed that according to her company up to 56 percent of renewable energy sources can be integrated with German power grid, becoming the part of national energy mix and journalists should revise such takes.