With one part of her family placed in the windy west of Norway and the other within the Arctic Circle, Ragnhild Leganger has become immune to bad weather, but also interested in the political interplay on local and international level.

“I have a track record of choosing to live in cities notorious for gloomy weather – Bergen, Edinburgh, and Brussels – and maybe because of my family relations to smaller places, I have always had an interest in the interaction between local and international politics,” says Ragnhild.

During her bachelor’s studies, Ragnhild wrote about Scottish secessionism in light of Brexit, which eventually brought her to Edinburgh for a master’s degree with focus on Arctic security. Now, she is fresh out of an internship in Brussels and looking forward to her role as an intern at Nordic Energy Research.

Ragnhild Leganger completed her master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh.

Turning challenges into rewards, piece by piece

Ragnhild’s interest in energy is connected to the part it plays in climate justice.

“As many political science students, I was intrigued by the concept of conflict – and energy security is more than ever merged into the general security discourse. I believe this was the starting point of my overall interest in energy and its role in the just transition,” says Ragnhild.

However, the concept of conflict is not only intriguing – it is challenging as well. But Ragnhild sees challenging tasks in an advantageous way.

“For me, the most challenging thing is what eventually will become the most rewarding – to be able to slowly piece together information and gain knowledge which eventually will lead to useful experience,” she says.

This attitude will stand in good stead during Ragnhild’s internship at Nordic Energy Research, where her contributions are highly treasured. During the internship, Ragnhild will mostly be working on the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETPartnership), where Nordic Energy Research acts as call management.

“Apart from contributing with bad jokes, I am ready to lift a finger for making the call management operations run as smoothly as possible. Call management can be quite a handful, and I am curious about how this administration navigates different national interests as well as transnational cooperation. I believe I can assist Nordic Energy Research in these responsibilities,” says Ragnhild.

Small and large scale responsibilities

The practical responsibilities Ragnhild has at Nordic Energy Research tie in with the overall responsibilities recognized by the Nordic countries.

“While learning about the political aspects of climate change, there is a certain irony to it all. For example, how the melting of the Arctic ice gives access to the same commodity that causes it to melt in the first place – fossil fuels. Or how a system built on consumption, if it continues, will have nothing left to consume. It’s evident that to break out of the golden straitjacket that we now find ourselves in, we need to create new energy regimes in line with what’s feasible in each country. As Nordic countries, we have a particular geopolitical responsibility in the Arctic but also a general moral responsibility, I believe. As stable and wealthy countries we should mitigate climate change to the best of our ability for future generations. I can think of no better place to be than at Nordic Energy Research to explore how we create those pathways to new clean energy regimes,” says Ragnhild.

  • Name: Ragnhild Leganger
  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Education: BSc in Comparative Politics from the University of Bergen and MSc in International and European Politics
  • Leisure: Cross-country skiing, baking, and podcasts