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Deputy Director, Division for Climate, Ministry of the Environment and Energy - a career of an IIIEE alumna

Johanna Lissinger Peitz is working as Chief negotiator for the Swedish delegation at the climate negotiations in Paris 2015.

Johanna Lissinger Peitz

Home country: Sweden
Current work position: Deputy Director, Division for Climate, Ministry of the Environment and Energy
Graduation year from the IIIEE: 2000

Describe your job and the most exciting aspects of it:

I am currently working as the Deputy Chief negotiator for the Swedish delegation at the Climate Negotiations in December in Paris 2015. It is my role and responsibility not only to coordinate the Swedish delegation but above all to develop the Swedish position and to be the Swedish voice when the EU prepare its position for the negotiations. I usually describe my role as the interface between the experts and the political leadership, I need to be able to put things into context to prioritise and to give strategic advice to those above me. In addition I am also involved in multilateral negotiations in the field of Chemicals and waste which has given me the opportunity to chair several negotiation groups where the most interesting and challenging was as President for the 7th Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention. The most exciting aspects of my job is the opportunity to contribute to change, to work together with highly skilled people and to try to make the impossible possible. Anyone who has taken part in multilateral negotiations knows it is not about taking big steps, but rather to walk together on the road to Sustainable development and to strive to ensure that all the small steps lead to the same goal.

Did studying at the IIIEE contribute to you getting this job? If so – how?

Having studied in an international environment shows to a future employer that you are interested in different perspectives, different cultures and that you are able to listen to and present your views to others who have a different perspective, where priorities and capabilities are different to your own. Above all, the studies at the IIIEE helped me maybe not so much in getting the job as it has done in doing what I do well.

Through the diversity at the IIIEE, not only in the topics studied, but above all in the competence and knowledge that not only the teachers contributed with but also your friends, I learned that there are always a different way to approach a problem and therefore also always a different solution. What may not work in my eyes may be the perfect solution for someone else with a different professional background. 

What do you wish for current and future IIIEE students?

Two things comes to my mind; Firstly to allow themselves to enjoy fully their time at the IIIEE and secondly to be allowing and generous to each other in sharing knowledge and experience. It’s the collective knowledge of the group, and your contribution to it that is your reward, a reward that goes far beyond your grade at a specific exam. Studying at the IIIEE was not easy and it should not be easy but that does not mean that one should not enjoy the challenge. It’s l like sports: winning a game or breaking record is a second triumph and joy but if you can make the journey it takes to break that record that is when you really start to learn.