What do career politicians know about energy efficiency, renewables and low-carbon technology? The answer, in many cases, is (notwithstanding the occasional exception like German Chancellor/physical chemist Angela Merkel), “Probably not a whole lot.”
And that’s cause for concern in an era when energy and carbon have become critically important issues for politicians to tackle. So it’s good to see that the International Energy Agency (IEA) actually offers courses for officials and others who want to learn about things like energy security, markets, sustainability and technology.
This year’s IEA Energy Training Week, which actually lasts just five days, is set for April 2 through 6 in Paris.
During that time, the agency will run seven English-language courses, including introductory classes on oil and gas market basics and on the basics of energy efficiency and renewable energy. While the program targets leaders in developing economies, there are more than a few officials — from the US, in particular — we’d love to see in the IEA’s classrooms this spring. Then, again, the problem there is probably just as much money-related (ie, hundreds of millions of dollars in oil, gas and coal lobbying) as education-related.