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Climate Change Modifies the Composition of Reefs

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ICTA-UAB launches the first master’s Degree in “Political Ecology. Degrowth and Environmental Justice”

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Marine Litter on Mediterranean Beaches Triples in Summer

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Mapping the Urban Vitality of Barcelona

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Green urban planning must consider social equity criteria

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More than 120 ICTA-UAB researchers addressed environmental challenges at a symposium, especially those arising from global and...

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Low-carbon energy transition requires more renewables than previously thought

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Are Farmers Who Belong to Local User Associations Better Adapted to Climate Change?

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Climate Change Threatens World's Largest Seagrass Carbon Stores

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Amazon's indigenous people hunt animals feeding in areas contaminated by oil spills

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New Project to Link Extreme Weather Events, Atmospheric Biodiversity and Human Health

A new ICTA-UAB project led by researcher Jordina Belmonte will study the effects of extreme meteorological events on the biological biodiversity present in the atmosphere in order to predict changes in the environment and possible affectations on human health.

ICTA-UAB’s success: five ERC grants in two years

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New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

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Esdeveniments
SPECIAL SEMINAR: "2METE: An Ecological Macroeconomic Model for Energy Transition. Alternative Scenarios Towards Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity"

Date: 2017-11-27

Title: "2METE: An Ecological Macroeconomic Model for Energy Transition. Alternative Scenarios Towards Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity"

Speaker: Simone D’Alessandro, Department of Economics and Management, University of Pisa
Discussant: Dan O'Neill, University of Leeds. 

Date: Monday 27th November
Time: from 12.00 to 13.30
Room: Z/032 ICTA-UAB


Overview 
In recent years, international research has produced several studies that show how excessive emissions and constant environmental degradation require a significant revision of energy strategies and a consequent transformation of the societal system (Victor, 2008; Jackson, 2009; Martínez-Alier et al., 2010; Kallis et al., 2012). This paper presents an application of the 2METE model to Italy which has been developed to provide a concrete understanding of some important policy challenges associated with the transition to a ecologically sustainable and socially equitable society. The model aims to test, in a formal setting, the effectiveness and coherence of energy transition policies to achieve a reduction of 80% in carbon emissions by mid-century with respect to the 1990 level. The analysis addresses a series of challenges for attaining the overall goal of sustainable prosperity, namely full employment, low inequality, fiscal sustainability, and a sustainable energy system. In particular, we analyse how the implementation of low-carbon policies is likely to impact upon current trends toward industrial automation and technological unemployment. Thus, the model is an attempt to evaluate the systemic interactions between energy policies and socio-economic system, by taking into account the co-evolution between environmental, economic and social variables. The main objective of this study is twofold: i) to propose a model that can assess the impact of current proposals (e.g. SEN, 2017) on key macroeconomic and social variables (and vice versa), and ii) to analyze whether policies that tend to increase equity may be complementary to environmental and energy policies.

BIOGRAPHIES 

Simone D'Alessandro (Speaker)  
Simone D’Alessandro is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Management of the University of Pisa. He received the Master and PhD degrees in Economics at the University of Siena (2007). He is member of the board of the Tuscany Doctoral Programme in Economics, and leads the focus area in Societal Transition for a Sustainable Economy in the REMARC lab (remarc.ec.unipi.it). Simone’s research interests involve distribution of income and wealth, development economics, behavioural economics, ecological economics, ecological sustainability and degrowth. Work in recent years is focused on the socio-economic effects of policies to promote the transition towards sustainability. Simone’s contributions are published in journals, such as, among the others, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, Ecological Economics, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Exploration in Economic History, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, Journal of Economic Inequality, Metroeconomica, Oxford Economic Papers.

Dan O'Neill (Discussant)  
Dan O’Neill is a Lecturer in Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds, UK, where he leads the Economics and Policy for Sustainability Research Group.  He is co-author (with Rob Dietz) of the book Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources, an international bestseller which has been made into a short film.  Dan has been an invited speaker at over 60 organisations including the European Central Bank, French National Assembly, and London School of Economics.  His latest work, which is supported by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust, investigates how to reconcile the goal of full employment with environmental sustainability.

MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE MODEL 

Methods
This paper contributes to the literature of Ecological Macroeconomics (Jackson, 2009; Rezai et al., 2013) which is characterized by three themes: i) the need to manage a non-growing economy, ii) the understanding of the dependence of macroeconomic processes on the environment, iii) the contamination between post-Keynesian macroeconomics and ecological economics (for a recent survey, see Hardt and O’Neill, 2017). The model we propose takes account of these three aspects and integrates the analysis of ecological macroeconomics through the formalization of some relationships that do not find a coherent treatment in it (i.e. local and social economy sector, population ageing, labour market institutions, multiplicity of energy sources). The model shares the system dynamics approach of ecological macroeconomic models, such as Jackson and Victor (2015), and Bernardo and D’Alessandro (2016). System dynamics is a suitable tool for the analysis of complex systems. It has a high degree of flexibility and provides a graphical structure which facilitates the identification of feedback mechanisms (Costanza et al. 1993; Costanza and Ruth 1998). This method is particularly suitable for the analysis of alternative scenarios, through simulations of the effects of policy implementation. Hence, the paper compares three scenarios for the period 2010-2050.
1. The “Business as Usual”scenario represents the impact of actual policies on a range of environmental, social and economic variables. This is useful as reference scenario and for the calibration of the model using PRIMES/EUCO predictions.
2. The “Green Growth” scenario represents the impact of policies that promote economic growth and green investments, through an increase of energy efficiency and labour productivity, and the development of renewable energy sources.
3. The “Degrowth” scenario represents the impact of policies that primarily tend to reduce energy consumption and inequalities.

Results
We found that energy policies inspired by green growth in the current phase of innovation and automation (Industry 4.0) are likely to generate an increase in unemployment, job polarization and income inequality. Moreover, economic growth and inequality increase can constitute a roadblock to the achievement of environmental targets. On the contrary, the introduction of social policies that tend to increase equity and support employment can help to achieve the environmental target. However, many tradeoffs between economic, social and environmental indicators emerge.

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