Study Group on Energy Innovation and the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy: Advising Fortune 500 Companies

| Feb. 19, 2020

Spring 2020 Study Group with Nicola De Blasio, Senior Fellow at the Environment And Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Meeting Dates: February 26, March 4, March 11, March 25, and April 15, 2020


Providing supplies of secure, reliable, affordable energy needed to fuel prosperity without causing devastating environmental consequences is perhaps the greatest challenge of the 21st century. To accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon economy, all energy systems and sectors must be actively decarbonized; yet today’s pace of energy innovation is simply not fast enough to meet the challenge.

A successful transition will require close coordination between policy, technology, capital, and society. Partnerships between the public and private sector are central to the transition, as well as much deeper integration across the value chain. Companies are making meaningful pledges and commitments to reduce carbon emissions and reorient their operations toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreements targets.

Study Group

This study group will explore the role of the private sector in evolving energy systems, and how corporations might change in a climate constrained world. Students will get the opportunity to make recommendations to CEOs of real companies on how to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy while maintaining the long-term security of the company.

Key discussion questions will include: How might corporations adapt in response to the climate crisis? What is the role of the private sector in meeting or exceeding the Paris Agreement targets? Where do leadership opportunities exist?

The group will be led by Belfer Center Senior Fellow Nicola De Blasio, former executive of a Fortune 20 energy company, where he was most recently Vice President, Head of R&D International Development. With more than 25 years of global experience in the energy sector, De Blasio is an expert in navigating the challenges of strategic development and technology innovation toward sustainable commercial success, at scale.

The study group will consist of five working sessions and Q&As with industry leaders (to be scheduled throughout the semester).

Application and Eligibility

The study group is open to all Harvard students and fellows from any school, with preference given to currently enrolled Harvard Kennedy School students. Participation will be limited to 15 members.

To apply, please send a CV and a short statement of interest (1-2 paragraphs) to Nicola De Blasio ( by Monday, February 24.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Study Group on Energy Innovation and the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy: Advising Fortune 500 Companies.” Announcement, , February 19, 2020.