CLEW Masterclass: Reporting on climate and energy across borders - lessons from the 'Franco-German engine'

We are inviting: Journalists
30 November 2023 at 16.00-17.00 CET
Import into your calendar

Most of Europe shares a single power grid, a single emissions market and one climate target – but the EU's member states follow 27 different paths to the goal of a net-zero by 2050. As the bloc's largest economies and energy consumers, France and Germany play a pivotal role in negotiating, planning, and implementing joint climate and energy policies. Yet, they still often treat energy security and emission reductions as national affairs. In order to understand the climate and energy policy approaches of Europe's two key states, reporters Camille Lafrance and Benjamin Wehrmann started a comprehensive cross-border research to understand what will power the EU's 'Franco-German engine' in the future. Clean Energy Wire invites journalists interested in learning more about key opportunities and barriers in the EU's 'engine' to the next online masterclass on 30 November 2023.

For a long time, governments in Paris and Berlin ran two different strategies in parallel while engaging in amicable industrial competition. But the European energy crisis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and increasingly urgent long-term decisions on climate action leave little more precious time for planning. The success of climate policy and energy security for the entire union today depends on a coherent and viable joint approach by its two core members – while continued national plans could potentially conflict with EU-wide plans.

To better understand the climate and energy policy approaches on both sides of the Rhine, reporters Camille Lafrance and Benjamin Wehrmann conducted many interviews in both countries, dug through national and international databases and analysed a wide range of policy initiatives from Paris and Berlin to find out where these harmonise and diverge. The resulting dossier explores the role of French-German energy disputes regarding European energy sovereignty ambitions, its sustainable industry transformation and the future of nuclear power and renewables in a climate neutral Europe.

In our online masterclass on 30 November 2023, Camille and Benjamin share their experiences about their successes and setbacks while investigating and comparing climate and energy policies between two countries. Participants are welcome to not only ask questions but also to share their own perceptions, experiences, and ideas on investigating Europe’s net zero 2050 ambitions.

Journalists attending the session will learn about:

  • Where to get started when comparing two countries’ energy and climate policy efforts
  • What interests drive the ‘Franco-German engine’ in climate and energy affairs
  • Why a wedge between Berlin and Paris could threaten EU climate targets
  • How to avoid excess work and dead ends in a cross-border reporting cooperation


16.00 - 16.05

Welcome and opening remarks

By Boris Schneider, CLEW

16.05 - 16.15

Lessons from researching and comparing data between two countries

By Camille Lafrance, freelance journalist (i.a. Le Monde, RFI, Contexte)

16.15 - 16.25

Lessons from structuring and coordinating cross-border reporting between Germany and France

By Benjamin Wehrmann, staff correpondent at CLEW

16.25 - 17.00

Q&A; Open Discussion




Camille Lafrance is is a freelance journalist specialist of climatic and environmental issues. She mainly covers climate policy, agriculture, adaptation as well as scientific stakes. As a member of the Environmental Investigative Forum (EIF), she particularly enjoins working on collaborative investigations. Beforehand, as a former correspondant she has notably lived in Tunisia and Turkey and she spent more than ten years working for major French-language media on international issues linked to the Mediterranean or Africa (i.e.democratic transitions, security, migration, health). Her work has been published by RFI, Le Monde, Jeune Afrique, Contexte, RTS and RTBF.

Benjamin Wehrmann is staff Correspondent for Clean Energy Wire. Before joining CLEW’s editorial staff, he worked for the AFP news agency in Berlin, Paris and Frankfurt, reporting mainly on domestic politics and economics. He also used to work for the German n-tv news channel as well as for dpa news agency in France. Benjamin holds a joint degree in political science from University of Bath, Sciences Po Paris and FU Berlin and a degree in economics and social sciences from FU Bolzano. 

Boris Schneider is at the centre of the team's international and cross-border activities as European Journalism Project Manager. Previously, he has coordinated initiatives to boost climate journalism in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe as part of n-ost - a Berlin-based network for cross-border journalism. Before that, he worked as a specialist on Eastern European climate and energy topics, as well as for navos Public Dialogue Consultants and the German Economic Team at Berlin Economics. He holds an MSc in Economics from the Free University of Berlin. Together with two climate journalists, he is also running a monthly podcast focused on climate news from Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space: The Eurasian Climate Brief


How can I sign up?

Please click on the red "Sign up"-Button and fill in the necessary information. Remember to confirm your sign up via the automatic email you receive from us (it could land in your spam folder).

Signing up is possible until 2 hours prior to the web event.

Will the event be on the record?

No, the web-event will be off the record.

Will the event be recorded?

No, the event won't be recorded.

Which language will be spoken?

The web-event language is English.

How can I improve the sound quality?

Sound quality is greatly improved by using headsets with a microphone. It is recommended that all active participants equip themselves accordingly (smartphone headsets are sufficient).

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