RESEARCH TOUR - How to shift the trillions: The role of finance on the road to climate neutrality

We are inviting: Journalists based in Europe
06 Sep - 08 Sep 2023
Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED - Sustainable finance increasingly emerges as a key lever for managing the shift from a fossil fuel-driven economy towards one that aspires to become climate neutral based on renewable energy sources. Trillions of euros from institutional investors, banks and small savers alike will have to be redirected in the coming years to achieve international climate agreements. Investments in financial products labelled as sustainable are among the fastest-growing asset classes, while terms like ESG and Sustainable Finance Taxonomy have found their way out of a niche of finance and sustainability experts into day-to-day policy debates about climate action and environmental protection.

Journalists play a critical role in communicating this debate to the wider public. However, the intricate links between climate action and the financial sector remain hard to disentangle even for seasoned reporters. Clean Energy Wire therefore offers a chance to gain insights and background on this complex topic and invites journalists on a sustainable finance study tour to Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt am Main. Journalists who wish to deepen their knowledge about key aspects of sustainable finance and its impact on the real economy and emissions reduction efforts around the world can apply for joining the trip from 6 to 8 September 2023 and get first-hand insight from experts including the European Central Bank, Germany’s stock exchange operator Deutsche Börse, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and more.

Application deadline: 31 July 2023.

Getting to the bottom of a topic full of technical terms and concepts from the world of banking and asset management may prove tricky for journalists who are unfamiliar with the financial sector. Conversely, those who regularly report on financial markets sometimes may struggle to stay abreast of the rapid changes unfolding in climate policy and look beyond the quarterly profit and loss accounts that are the bread and butter business of finance journalism.

Clean Energy Wire’s sustainable finance research tour, organised in close cooperation with the German Sustainable Finance Research Platform (WPSF) and supported by the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany (GSFCG), combines their respective expertise to bring in a genuine journalistic perspective when meeting with key players during two days of on-the-ground research opportunities in one of Europe’s most important finance hubs.

Contents and objectives

The programme will first include time to familiarise all participants with key concepts, discourses, instruments and actors at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, one of five partner institutions of the Sustainable Finance Research Platform. After an introduction on the role of finance in the transformation of the economy, topics will include globalised climate damages or discuss how to empower emerging and developing countries to deal with losses and damages caused by climate change.

In the evening, Silke Stremlau, Chairperson of the Sustainable Finance Advisory of the of the German Federal Government, and Michael Schmidt, Co-head of the GSFCG will provide insights into the necessary changes on a political level. During the welcome diner, there will be opportunities to get together with some Frankfurt-based finance journalists working on the topic.

As the guardian of price stability in the Eurozone, the European Central Bank (ECB) has also begun focussing on climate change as a risk to economic and the financial stability – and to respond accordingly. Speakers from ECB’s "Climate Change Centre" will explain and discuss how the central bank aims to strike a balance between those targets, both in its daily as work as well as in its long-term macroeconomic perspectives. 

In the afternoon, various actors in financing a sustainable transformation will provide insights into the industry's activities. Representatives of different sectors will join for a roundtable at the Frankfurter Börse (German stock exchange). The panel will include participants from (among others) corporate, retail and public banking, asset management, and insurance, to discuss their roles, challenges and strategies in promoting a sustainable economy.

To end the second day, the participants will meet with representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Luxembourg-based EU institution calls itself “Europe’s climate bank” and will explain the details and thinking behind this claim.

On the third day, the tour will take participants to visit a leading research and production site of Clariant, a Swiss multinational specialty chemicals company, to get some insights about the financial challenges and opportunities when it comes to funding its transformation towards a climate friendly business model.

You can apply via our online form till Monday, 31 July. This programme is yet open to changes. Names and positions of speakers (and probably additional events or speakers) will be added within the next weeks.


Frequently asked questions on how to apply, costs and logistics

Who is eligible for the research tour? And how can I apply?

The research tour is open to journalists from all over Europe (country of primary residence).

To apply, please click on the red 'sign up' button above that will take you to the webform.

Please note that applications in any other language than English will not be accepted.

By submitting your application and upon its success, you agree that your name, associated media outlet, country of primary residence and email address will appear on the list shared with all participants if your application is successful. All data necessary to organise the tour will be shared with our partner Forum Energii.

What languages will be spoken during the tour?

All presentations during the workshop will be in English, or otherwise live translated into English.

Are there any costs for tour participants?

Participation in the research tour is free of charge. Furthermore, all expenses incurred during the tour, including food, accommodation and local transportation will be covered by Clean Energy Wire.

Journalists or editorial staff who have made an internal commitment not to accept free services from third parties, or who do not wish to participate in the research trip free of charge for other reasons, may pay for their own travel and share of accommodation and meals. Please contact us directly at

What about travel arrangements?

Selected participants will organise their own travel to Warsaw and back independently, and will be reimbursed for their expenses after the event. Do not book anything before you get the confirmation that you can take part. When arranging travel, participants are kindly asked to consider climate-friendly modes of transportation where viable and reasonable. Please keep in mind the budgetary constraints of up to 400 euro return connection for economy class travel. Participants who would like to cover their expenses on their own (travel, food, accommodation) can get an invoice upon request after the tour.

The tour will start on 3 October at 5.30 p.m. and will end on 6 October around 2 p.m. Participants that cannot arrive on 3 October in time can start on 4 October at 9.a.m. at the latest.

All successful applicants will be notified on how to claim reimbursement ahead of the tour. It is generally not possible to reimburse travel expenses in cash.

What are the deadlines?

Deadline for applications is 3 September, 2023. 

Please make sure to have access to your email, and do check the spam folder. If your application has been successful you will receive a confirmation email from CLEW no later than 6 September. In this event, please confirm your participation by 12 pm CEST on 10 September. Otherwise your place will be offered to another applicant.

What if I need a visa?

If you require a letter of invitation for your visa application, please let us know by sending an email to Please make sure you have a visa appointment at your embassy or consulate well before the research tour begins to leave enough time for visa processing.

Note: we do not reimburse visa fees or insurance costs.

I get an error message saying I’m over the character limit, but I don’t think I am?

The character limit is specified in the boxes. Note that the limit includes paragraph breaks. If you have removed all paragraph breaks and are otherwise 100 percent certain that you are below the limit specified, try using a different internet server. For example, if you have previously tried submitting unsuccessfully via Google Chrome, try Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Safari.

I have submitted an application but have not received a confirmation of receipt.

Please check your spam folder for an automatically generated email which will ask you to confirm that you submitted an application successfully.

You will then hear from CLEW regarding the outcome of your application no later than 6 September 2023.

What are the rules of citation during the tour?

Interviews and public debates between journalists and speakers follow different rules and practices in different parts of the world. To make the context of our media trip clear for all involved, we would like to set out the following framework guiding the interaction with participating journalists:

Quotes and interviews

  • We work on the basis that statements made by participants can be quoted by the journalists present in their media reports. However, during this tour we will have more exceptions from this general rule, so please ask us or the speakers if you're are not sure.
  • If speakers do not want to be quoted, we ask them to inform participating journalists where this is the case. Remarks may then be made "off the record" and will not be quoted.
  • Outside Germany it is not common practice for journalists to seek authorisation for quotes before using them. If a speaker does require the participating journalists to check quotes with the speaker before publishing, we ask the speaker to advise journalists of this.

Photos, audio or video recordings

  • We respect journalists’ fundamental right not to disclose the sources of their research. Some of the participants also come from countries where press freedom is under threat and where journalists are prosecuted. As a safeguard to participants’ rights and their well-being, we kindly ask the speakers not to take any photos or to make any film or audio recordings on which participants can be individually identified.
  • If the speakers would like to take photos or record audio or video of our visit, they can approach a staff member for Clean Energy Wire so that we can agree on safe and workable solutions.
  • If there are restrictions to taking photos or to making audio or video recordings on the premises, we will inform participants.

Don't hesitate to get in contact with us at

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