Nace El Observatorio del Besòs: un proyecto de seguimiento de la calidad de los sistemas fluviales de la cuenca

La Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) a través del Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA-UAB), y el Consorci Besòs Tordera evaluarán el estado de calidad a largo plazo de la cuenca del Besòs gracias a la creación de la Observatorio del Besòs.

Shift in large-scale Atlantic circulation causes lower-oxygen water to invade Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Gulf of St. Lawrence has warmed and lost oxygen faster than almost anywhere else in the global oceans.

Climate Change Modifies the Composition of Reefs

Corals devastated by climate change are being replaced naturally by other species such as gorgonians, which are less efficient in acting as a carbon sink.

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

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) launches the master’s Degree in “Political Ecology.

Pioneering study analyses the effects of forests on human health

A group of volunteers have participated in an experimental study conducted by the ICTA-UAB to analyse the potential health benefits of forests.

Marine Litter on Mediterranean Beaches Triples in Summer

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) analyses and quantifies the waste generated by tourists in eight islands of the Mediterranean as part of the European BLUEISLANDS project.

Mapping the Urban Vitality of Barcelona

Researchers at the UAB have mapped Barcelona and and 9 surrounding towns using a new methodology based on urbanism activist Jane Jacobs' ideas on how cities should be configured to become vital spaces: 25% of the area is classified as having high vitality.

Agricultural intensification not a “blueprint” for sustainable development

Social and ecological results of increased agricultural intensification are not as positive as expected.

Green urban planning must consider social equity criteria

Cities that do not include social equity criteria into their political strategies to make their urban environment greener and more ecological will not achieve long-term sustainability and risk creating green enclaves only for the social elite.

The ICTA-UAB alerts of a new invasive Asian beetle pest in Catalonia that kills mulberry trees

A study by researcher of the ICTA-UAB and the Department of Agriculture Víctor Sarto i Monteys has identified in the province of Barcelona the presence of a species from Asia that could spread through Europe.

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

The Institut of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) organized its 1st Spring Symposium with the aim of addressing some of the main environmental and sustainability challenges.

Low-carbon energy transition requires more renewables than previously thought

A new study by ICTA-UAB analyzes the impacts on lifestyles of substituting fossil fuels for cleaner energies.

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

Droughts, floods and high temperatures derived from climate change are not the only threats that farmers with irrigated crops must face.

Climate Change Threatens World's Largest Seagrass Carbon Stores

Shark Bay seagrass carbon storage hotspot suffers alarming losses after a devastating marine heat wave, according to a study led by ICTA-UAB researchers.

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

A study by the ICTA-UAB and the UAB Department of Animal Health and Anatomy demonstrates that the main species hunted by the indigenous popoulations of the Peruvian Amazon ingest water and soil contaminated with hidrocarbons and heavy metals.

The new Planttes app warns of allergy risks in different urban areas

The Planttes application is a citizen science project which aims to encourage people to identify and locate on a map the existence of allergy-causing plants and indicate their phenological state.

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

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded five European Research Council (ERC) grants in two years, which is about ten per cent of all ERC grants arriving in Catalonia over the period from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
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

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.


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 ( 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.


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.

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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