Skip to main content


By Marine Cornelis
In this podcast, we meet the people who are dedicating their lives to sustainability, climate justice and the energy transition, either as activists, scientists or policymakers. I'm sure their stories and their insights will inspire you. Check for more.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Becoming an agent of change for sustainable energy and women empowerment, Ilaria Marini - A2A Calore e Servizi


Access to justice for vulnerable people, with Naomi Creutzfeldt and Chris Gill - ESRC Just Energy
How do vulnerable energy consumers access justice? What role do local intermediaries play? What could Ombudsmen do to fill the gaps between citizens and energy companies? How could their services become more accessible? Dr Naomi Creutzfeldt and Dr Chris Gill are both experts of consumer dispute resolution and the different forms of redress, such as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the Ombudsman model. Over the last four years, together with yours truly, we have investigated access to justice for vulnerable and energy-poor people in five European countries and regions (UK, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Catalonia - Spain).  In this episode, we explore the genesis of the Just Energy project, the choice of the energy sector as a case study and the baseline on which we started the research. We discuss the potential of complaints for companies and regulatory authorities to build trust in energy markets. We reflect on several key findings, such as the fact that complaining to an Ombudsman can be very intimidating: for many, complaint procedures are neither straightforward nor easy, and ADR schemes are very distant concepts. Local initiatives seem the key intermediaries between (vulnerable) people and formal justice processes, whatever the country. However, even among local actors, the role and function of the Ombudsmen might be unknown. Hence, close cooperation among stakeholders is absolutely critical to make a difference for the people in need. "It's very important to have lots of different avenues available for people to to access justice in different forms".  Dr Naomi Creutzfeldt is a professor of socio-legal studies at the University of Westminster and Dr Chris Gill is a Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of Glasgow.  Order your copy of Access to Justice for Vulnerable and Energy-Poor Consumers: Just Energy? - Hart Publishing (2021)  Find all the information about the ESRC Just Energy Project, toolkit and Final Webinar (September 9, 2021 at 12:30 BST)  Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory © Next Energy Consumer, 2021
July 8, 2021
Becoming an agent of change for sustainable energy and women empowerment, Ilaria Marini - A2A Calore e Servizi
What is district heating, and why is it relevant in the sustainable energy transition? How can more young women be attracted to careers in science and technology?  In this episode, Ilaria Marini describes district heating systems and their role in the energy transition. She gets back on the projects she is working on for A2A Calore e Servizi in Brescia and Milan. She tells us about her passion for science and technology and how it motivated her to build her own path when she lacked role models to show her the way. She shares her experience of how, with the support of her company, she seeks to be an agent of change, create awareness around unconscious bias, encourage gender diversity and inspire other young women to embark on scientific careers. "It is important to think big if you want to change something, it is important to be proactive and start doing something" Ilaria Marini is an engineer at the Italian utility A2A Calore e Servizi. At first, in 2017, she focused on the maintenance and optimization of district heating networks. She then became project manager of a demo project site in Brescia in Lombardy. Since last year, she has been involved in the REWARDHeat project, a district heating project using the groundwater wells in the city of Milan.  Reach out to Ilaria Marini on LinkedIn: Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory © Next Energy Consumer, 2021
June 25, 2021
Technology to make aviation more sustainable, with Jean Paquin, SAF+
Global aviation accounts for about 2% of greenhouse gas emissions, and many scientists are denouncing its impact and even encouraging people to stop flying. The restrictions on travel and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns have totally reshuffled the deck: many of us have not traveled in the last year and a half. To survive, aviation must therefore reinvent itself, and one of the avenues is fuel. Jean Paquin is the CEO of SAF+ Consortium, a Canadian company making synthetic fuels from captured CO2 emission from large industries.  Can fuels really be sustainable? How do we convince airlines to decarbonise? How do we make consumers aware of the real price of their plane tickets? In this episode, Jean talks about his vision of the evolution of the airline industry and how, out of a sense of duty to the planet and to his children, he managed to convince airlines to support and grow his project. He reminds us that moving away from fossil fuels is a difficult journey and that synthetic fuels are only a temporary solution before fully energy efficient solutions are developed.  "We need to change clearly the paradigm and look at the way we sustainably survive, we need to embrace new technology that will move us away from fossil fuels and away from the need to consume more and more new resources without making efficient use of the ones we've used already" Jean Paquin is the co-founder of the SAF+ consortium (“SAF+”) and the Carbon Consult Group. Jean is an engineer with over 25 years of experience in carbon management and the development of renewable energy projects worldwide. He has a wide range of expertise in engineering, management, project finance, Hydro, wind and solar generation.  Reach out to Jean Paquin on LinkedIn: SAF+ Consortium:  Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory © Next Energy Consumer, 2021
June 11, 2021
Fairness means listening to the experiences of all communities, with Elizabeth Blakelock
"We cannot afford to exclude any community from this transition"  What is energy justice and how can it be developed?   In this episode, Dr Elizabeth Blakelock shares her experience as a fierce advocate for citizens' rights to fair treatment in the energy market. She tells us how she opened her eyes to the intersectionality of race and vulnerability in the sector, and how she is now fighting for energy policies to become explicitly anti-racist. She shares her advice on how to create strategies that put the lived experiences of citizens at the centre, in order to create services, products, programmes and strategies that are truly inclusive by design. Eventually, she addresses the opportunities that the energy transition represents for creating fairer societies  "There is so much more to the energy system than technical decisions about moving electrons along a wire"  Dr Elizabeth Blakelock is a champion of the rights of everyone to have access to a warm and safe home. She is passionate about tracking the impacts that firms' decision-making has on people's lives. Then she uses that data to help design essential service markets that are inclusive by design. Elizabeth has been working in the corporate world, as an academic, the charity sector and an energy regulator. As an academic, Elizabeth co-authored the report “Fairness in UK Energy Markets” and in 2020 she finished her Ph.D. on how powerful ideas influence the rules of the energy market to undermine processes that were supposed to ensure inclusive policymaking.   Reports mentioned:  Inclusive design in essential services   Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy. Stephens, Jennie   Powerful women:   Find Dr Elizabeth Blakelock’s work on LinkedIn:  Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn  Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory  (c) Next Energy Consumer, 2021
May 28, 2021
Smart cities start with inclusive infrastructures, with Pedro Homem de Gouveia
"The built environment is a source of opportunities or obstacles" Why are infrastructures a question of social justice? How can urban spaces be reinvented to become accessible to the greatest number? In this fascinating discussion, Pedro Homem de Gouveia explains how he came to understand that infrastructure and mobility create barriers or opportunities in people's lives. Pedro underlines why it is necessary to be vigilant against cultural prejudices and why mobility issues require above all an understanding of the users' habits. He informs us about gender and safety issues in public transport, arguing that these issues are not externalities but must be put at the heart of urban network development policies.  Pedro demonstrates that when it comes to mobility and experiencing city life, solutions are often within reach, but they often require a different perspective. Therefore, Pedro encourages professionals from other sectors, from psychology to marketing, to take an interest in transport and infrastructure issues in order to better meet users' needs.  Pedro illustrates his remarks with examples that he has noted over the course of time and his discoveries, as an architect and advisor to the city of Lisbon or as senior policy and project manager at the POLIS, the network of cities and regions for transport innovation.  "Public transport is the backbone of urban mobility (...) but you just don't go walking around with a backbone: you need legs, and feet, and fingers. And if you're going to do something, you also need arms, and hands, and fingers. (...) If we want people to shift away from their private cars into sustainable mobility, we really have to foster the emergence of an alternative ecosystem of modes that work together". Since 2019, Pedro Homem de Gouveia coordinates POLIS' Working Group for Governance & Integration, which is focused on policymaking for innovation and public participation. He also coordinates the Working Group for Safety and Security, aiming to make city streets safe and transport systems secure. Before joining POLIS, Pedro worked for more than 20 years for the city of Lisbon, in Portugal, as a strategist and advisor. Find Pedro Homem de Gouveia on LinkedIn:  Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory  (c) Next Energy Consumer, 2021
May 17, 2021
Making energy feminist, with Mariëlle Feenstra
What is missing to build a truly just, intersectional and inclusive transition? How can academic research be linked with almost 15 years of experience in the public and private sectors?  In this fascinating and personal conversation, Marielle Feenstra tells us how she learns and shares about gender and inclusivity in the energy and climate transition daily. She talks about her ability to create links between the academic world, her work as a consultant, and an advisor to public bodies.  She explains why gender issues continue to be neglected in energy policies (hint: there is a lack of disaggregated data!) and why using the notion of “household” is so far removed from reality that it can hardly yield tangible results. Finally, she talks about the importance of role-playing to create empathy among decision-makers and why gender differences are an excellent way to raise awareness of social justice and diversity. Gender and transitions are a dynamic concept that will evolve, and that decision-makers, companies and policymakers will have to take into consideration “We bring in our genders, we bring in our social background, we bring in our educational backgrounds, our age, so taking an intersectional approach towards the actors in the energy system reveals their different motives, different knowledge, different understanding and different resources to act upon and make a change.” Mariëlle Feenstra, “the energy feminist”, has been working on gender and energy policies since 2000. She is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. She will defend her PhD thesis “Gender Just Energy Policy: engendering the energy transition in Europe” this summer. Together with her supervisor Prof. Dr Joy Clancy, she has written two studies for the FEMM Committee of the European Parliament. Both studies are the first publications in the EU on gender and energy policy. Mariëlle is an active member of the ENGAGER network of energy poverty researchers in Europe. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Dutch community 75InQ, promoting more visibility for diversity in the energy transition. Find Marielle Feenstra on Twitter @EnergyFeminist and LinkedIn:   Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory (c) Next Energy Consumer, 2021
April 30, 2021
Level the European playing field and making finance serve society and the planet, with Kęstutis Kupšys, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee
How can we successfully level the political playing field and bring in the voices of civil society, including those of small countries? How can we ensure that finance benefits citizens and works to repair the planet?  "We only have our voice, but with that voice, if you talk about important things, and if you commit to what you say and what you do, your voice becomes a real weapon to achieve your goals."  Kęstutis Kupšys is a Member of the European Economic and Social Committee and a key expert on sustainable finance issues. He explains how he has learned to embrace climate change as an opportunity to transform the economic system we live in. He describes the functioning of the European Economic and Social Committee, an advisory body that informs the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. Kęstutis expands on the power of finance for the future of the planet and how, today, cryptocurrencies are undermining climate goals.  Finally, he tells us how coming from a small country, Lithuania, is rather an asset when it comes to building consensus, and bridging widely divergent interests.  "The Economic and Social Committee is one of those forums where you can make your voice heard, even if you come from a small country, a small organisation or if you represent a specific group of people with specific problems".   "We no longer have the luxury of choosing what should be sustainable and what should remain business as usual, the whole system has to be changed."  Kęstutis Kupšys is a Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (Group III - Diversity Europe Group), the vice-president of the Lithuanian consumer alliance (member of BEUC) and the director of the Association for Honesty in banking. In his own words, Kęstutis is a sustainable finance, clean mobility and renewable energy enthusiast devoted to unified Europe.  Contact Kęstutis on LinkedIn:    Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory (c) Next Energy Consumer, 2021
April 16, 2021
Housing policies should focus on the people who live in them, with Stefan Bouzarovski and Manon Burbidge, ENPOR project
Is the Renovation Wave on track to address the complexity of fuel poverty?  European policies seem to be getting a better grasp of the phenomenon. Still, even today, although energy poverty and vulnerability are getting more and more attention from European policymakers, many factors remain entirely unexplored. This is particularly the case for the private rented sector. In this episode, we will discuss this issue with Manon Burbidge and Professor Stefan Bouzarovski. Stefan Bouzarovski is one of the most influential voices in the energy vulnerability field. Stefan is a professor at the University of Manchester and the head of the ENGAGER network. Manon is a very committed ecologist and a research associate at the University of Manchester. We will be explaining the findings of their Report on energy poverty in the private rented sector as part of the Horizon 2020 ENPOR project. This report highlights the scale of energy poverty. It presents some solutions on how to address it in the private rented sector. Why has been energy poverty in the rented sector overlooked so far? How is it possible to reconcile the viewpoints of stakeholders with apparently diverging interests? Stefan and Manon will talk with us about some solutions and share with us their doubts regarding certain policies and programmes that fail to adopt an intersectional approach that would put residents' needs at the centre, rather than technical and technological responses to the energy inefficiency of buildings. ENPOR project link:  Contact Stefan on Twitter @StefanBuzar and LinkedIn Contact Manon on Twitter @Manon_Burbidge and LinkedIn Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory (c) Next Energy Consumer, 2021
March 31, 2021
Using citizens' experience to build a just energy transition, with Marta Garcia Paris, Ecoserveis
"Citizens are the experts, and we are only translating this expertise into projects and initiatives"    In this episode, Marine Cornelis meets Marta Garcia Paris, the CEO of Ecoserveis.  Ecoserveis has undoubtedly transformed how energy poverty and consumer experience, in general, are taken into consideration in Barcelona and Europe.    Marta talks about engaging people in the energy transition while protecting them against climate change; the impact of COVID on vulnerable populations; the importance of providing information through trusted parties to empower citizens; and that European projects enable her to learn and keep her mind open to new ideas.    See all Ecoserveis' ongoing and past projects:   Reach out to Marta on Twitter @Martutis6 or Linkedin   Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn Music: I Need You Here - Kamarius Edition: Podcast Media Factory (c) Next Energy Consumer, 2021
February 18, 2021