Testimonies - EMBA - Industry Specific

Laura Bérot

Since completing my studies law and political science, I have been working in parliamentary institutions for over fourteen years. This experience of political collaboration has enabled me to develop an in-depth knowledge of the French institutions, its environment and its mechanisms. I also have the opportunity to experience the relationship between politicians and businesses actors on a daily basis. More specifically, my day-to-day role consists in amending parliamentary texts (proposals or bills) that are linked to the Senate Finance Committee.

 


THE MAJOR IN ENERGY

 

Environmental issues, especially those related to our energy resources are the primary parameters that public decision-makers must now integrate to build policies of tomorrow. Having worked for more than 14 years in the institutional area and with politicians (former minister, members of parliament and senators), I see the impact of these issues on public decisions every day. During national or European elections, environmental problems are raised (global warming, risks associated with nuclear energy…) by each candidate, and many of the differences in the various political programs are on the issue of energy production.

 

I decided to follow this Major in order to have a better understanding of the real energy issues. I also wanted to approach this problem in a global way (economic, geostrategic and technological) and be able to build an informed opinion on this subject, which will serve me in my institutional and political work.

 


EXPERIENCE OF THE PROGRAM

 

This Major offers a perfect balance of lectures that provide a global view of energy-related issues from an environmental, geopolitical, financial and more technical perspective. The quality of the teaching and the professors are one of the greatest assets of this program. It is a genuine pleasure to interact with professors like Andrea Masini and Jean-Michel Gauthier who have a perfect knowledge of their domain. Even when the topics are very technical, they make them accessible and ensure that everyone gets the information they need

 

The rich diversity of the participants who shared their experiences in their companies was another interesting aspect of the program. Most of the class came from the energy sector and although we learned a lot from them, I believe that people from other sectors like me were able to give them a new perspective on their activities. The working atmosphere was pleasant and kind and the watchword was the sharing of knowledge and experience. I also had a lot of pleasure exploring the issue of methanization with two of my classmates - Thierry Gahamanyi and Sébastien Peyle. Working on the value chain, on the advantages and disadvantages of bio-methane and identifying the players who win the lion's share was an enriching task.  

 

Another major asset of this program are the visits that punctuate each session and the conferences during which professionals present their work to you. I found two of the visits particularly enriching. The village of Feldheim was a real discovery – it has a network of electrical cables and heating pipes underneath its streets that are powered entirely by renewable energies. This example underlines perfectly that transparency and community participation are essential to advance the clean energy agenda at a local level. It also highlights the benefits of renewable energy projects, such as access to local energy sources, and financial income or jobs for local plumbers, engineers or farmers.

 

Visiting the smart city of Doha was also a rich and fascinating experience. Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) integrates the history and the archaeological heritage of Qatar and is dubbed the world’s first sustainable urban regeneration project. MDD is not only an integral part of the present, but will also take care of future environmental constraints and technological innovations.

  

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

 

The Major allowed me to ask myself the right questions about the energy policies we are currently implementing in France and to have all the tools to try to form my opinion. It includes the question of living without nuclear energy in France and I have kept this issue in mind since Doha and Berlin. The climate emergency is humanity's greatest challenge. Despite the commitments made at COP21, greenhouse gas emissions, instead of decreasing, continue to increase, including in France. Although France has the lowest per capita emissions of the G7 countries (achieved through its nuclear power stations, which provides massively carbon-free electricity), we now need to focus on the sectors that consume the most fossil fuels and emit the most greenhouse gases such as transport and housing. 

 

I am now truly convinced that information and awareness of the phenomenon of global warming is driving people to turn naturally to clean technologies, regardless of the policies and assistance granted by the State. 
As a City councillor and Community councillor, I participate in the sustainable development and special planning committee in my city and in my agglomeration. Visiting the smart city of Doha and the village of Feldheim has been a great source of inspiration, and I firmly believe they can be used as a template for developing a new model of urban living and a smart community that can be exported everywhere.

 

I am also convinced that we must move towards controlled energy consumption and increase the role of renewable energies, which will benefit the security of supply, the environment and employment. Indeed, reducing our fossil fuel consumption is equivalent to reducing our energy dependence. The decrease in consumption and the increase in renewable energies should contribute to reducing France's dependence on other countries. 

 


My job requires me to adapt constantly to new issues and to draw expertise from them. This intellectual flexibility helped me enormously in my approach to this Major. The next step for me will be to open up to new opportunities and defend new causes that may be further from the political sphere, but I still hope to be in touch with our institutions.  I am leaving the door wide open to new challenges