I knew that MESPOM was the right program for me to pursue and develop skills in science-based policymaking

June 14, 2023

Marko Niko Baloloy told us about his thesis project on the sensitivity of the hydrogen-related emissions in the context of the development of the UK hydrogen economy by 2050.

I am Marko Niko Baloloy, a MESPOM student from the Philippines. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of the Philippines that strengthened my knowledge in climatology, DRRM, and CCAM.

I came across the MESPOM program before even finishing my undergraduate. At first, I was hesitant to apply right away as I wasn’t feeling ready yet. To prepare, I made sure to work in three different major stakeholders in the environmental discussions: public, private, and development sectors. Since the MESPOM curriculum is designed to go through not just the environmental sciences but as well as the policy and management aspects, I knew that this is the right program for me to pursue and develop a skill in science-based policymaking. In 2021, I felt that with my experiences, I am ready to apply. Gratefully, I got into the program with the Erasmus Mundus scholarship.

Climate and energy are the areas I wanted to build expertise on. That is the reason why my thesis topic aims to investigate the sensitivity of the hydrogen-related emissions to the development of the UK hydrogen economy by 2050. Since hydrogen is considered a critical piece in the net zero plan as a low-carbon technology globally, this research allows me to understand deeper the nexus between energy and climate where hydrogen is anticipated to play a role as an alternative fuel and an energy carrier with minimal climate implications. However, during my internship with the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) last summer 2022 where I did a literature review on the global hydrogen economy, I came across some recent articles by Warwick et al. (2022), Derwent (2018), and Ocko and Hamburg (2022) where they have found that there’s potential for climate consequences caused my hydrogen emissions (leaks) (not to mention additional methane and carbon dioxide from a carbon-intensive production pathway). This struck and made me more interested to do further investigation, hence, my thesis topic.

Currently, I am considering working on the same topic and work through PhD. Otherwise, if not in the academia, I also plan to engage in the same area professionally after MESPOM. This summer 2023, I will be doing another internship with the World Bank Group Vienna under the Environment and Climate team and I hope to strengthen my foundation in climate policy and climate finance as well. Certainly, I will try my best to engage further in the climate research and discussion in the next five years.