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Climate Change

CGEP Hosts Third Annual Energy Journalism Initiative

The Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative educates journalists about the various disciplines associated with the energy sector, including policy, markets, finance, climate change, technology and geopolitics. On June 11, 2019, CGEP welcomed a new cohort of journalists for a three-day seminar held at our New York City headquarters.

The program hosted an impressive group of 20 journalists from 7 different countries for the three-day seminar in our offices on campus with the aim to better prepare journalists who cover energy topics. Each session of the seminar was taught by leading experts in energy policy, finance, geopolitics, climate change, technology, markets, and technology. These included Columbia Faculty such as Jason Smerdon and CGEP Scholars including Marianne Kah and Katherine Spector. From the private sector, Ed Morse from Citigroup, Susan Tierney from Analysis Group, Michael Catanzaro from CGCN Group and Eric Toone from Breakthrough Energy Ventures shared their insights and real-life experience. Leading voices at think tanks and other academic institutions such as Howard Gruenspecht from the MIT Energy Initiative, Amy Myers Jaffe from the Council on Foreign Relations and Anthony Leiserowitz from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications also joined us for lectures on energy markets, policy, and geopolitics, as did Nathaniel Keohane from the Environmental Defense Fund and Philip Sharp, formerly president of Resources for the Future.

At our dinners, former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu offered a behind-the-scenes look at policy making in the U.S. and Jeffrey Gettleman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning bureau chief for the New York Times in Southeast Asia, described trends taking shape on energy and environmental matters based on his reporting in that strategic part of the world.



In addition, our group toured the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and heard from leading Columbia scientists like David Goldberg on carbon sequestration, Benjamin Holtzman on seismic activity associated with the production of geothermal energy, shale oil, and gas, Nick Frearson at the Ice-pod Lab on Antarctica’s ice sheet research, and more.


Our group of journalists were also connected in advance of the program with an online platform, provided pre-session reading material, real-time information and follow-up sources, and to enable them to stay in touch with each other and reach out to us for support moving forward as they go back to their news outlets.

Here are a few things the participants had to say about the experience in their own words:


We are thrilled to have brought together an outstanding group of journalists. As we continue to grow the program, we will provide opportunities for these journalists to join prior year’s cohort to truly build an energy journalism network with global impact.