02 Aug 2019, 14:18
  • Rose-Anne
    Rose-Anne Clermont is an award-winning freelance journalist writing on migration and environmentalism. Her work has been published by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung, Die Zeit, and U.S.-based media including The New York Times, NPR and USA Today. Rose-Anne is currently a freelance editor and trainer for media development projects focused on environmental conservation in East Africa.

A reporter’s “aha” moment: how business and the energy transition go together

Illustration: Mwelwa Musonko
A next in the series of Mwelwa Musonko's illustrations for CLEW: the comic book artist and founder of Foresight Comics depicts a journalist's "aha" moment upon realising how best to pitch an energy transition story to his business editor. Inspired by his participation at the Global Energy Transition Journalism conference 2019 earlier this year, Mwelwa created a series of illustrations for CLEW dealing with reporting challenges and new story angles on this complex, cross-beat subject.

If there was one big takeaway from CLEW's Global Energy Transition Journalism conference earlier this year, it was that energy transition and business stories go hand in hand. Instead of focusing merely on topics like climate policy, energy transition journalists should take a closer look at how businesses are incorporating, missing out on, or even avoiding, strategic measures related to climate change. These decisions are impacting both businesses’ performance and climate change, in big and small ways, over the long run.

GETJO19 speaker Michael Holder, of Business Green expanded on this idea in a recent CLEW Network blog post here.

“So many companies said (in 2013) the energy transition would ruin our industry,” recalled Andreas Kuhlmann, Chief Executive Officer of German Energy Agency, dena, and a GETJO19 keynote speaker. “But those who invest in the energy transition will fare much better in the future.”

Kuhlmann cited the agency's research, which found that 72 percent of businesses in Germany say the energy transition strengthens the economy, compared with less than 50 percent in 2013.

This change in attitudes was the inspiration for this illustration (above) by Zambian-based illustrator Mwelwa Musonko.

Kingsmill Bond, energy strategist for Carbon Tracker and part of its investor outreach team summed it up in a GETJO talk later that day: “Ten years ago climate change was moral, now it’s financial, in the future it will be a matter of timing.”

Journalism for the energy transition

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