L'ICTA-UAB reuneix experts mundials en decreixement i justícia ambiental

L’ICTA-UAB organitza del 24 de juny al 6 de juliol la Vª Escola d’Estiu sobre Decreixement i Justícia Ambiental.

La intensificació agrícola no és un bon "pla" de desenvolupament sostenible

Els plans que aposten per la intensificació agrícola com a mesura per aconseguir Objectius de Desenvolupament Sostenible (ODS) no tenen resultats positius per igual a nivell social i ecològic, segons un estudi en què participa l’ICTA-UAB.

Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10

Today is World Environment Day. Environmental conflicts should not be seen as disruptions to smooth governance, fixable with market solutions, technology or police bullets.

Els plans de "verdificació" de les ciutats han de contemplar criteris d'igualtat social

Les ciutats que no contemplin criteris d'igualtat social en les seves estratègies polítiques per fer més verd i ecològic el seu entorn urbà no aconseguiran la sostenibilitat a llarg termini.

L'ICTA-UAB alerta d'una nova plaga invasora d'un escarabat asiàtic a Catalunya que acaba amb les moreres

Un estudi de l'investigador de l'ICTA-UAB i del Departament d'Agricultura, Víctor Sarto i Monteys ha identificat a la província de Barcelona la presència d'una espècie procedent d'Àsia que es podria estendre cap a la resta d'Europa.

Més de 120 investigadors de l'ICTA-UAB aborden en un simposi els reptes ambientals, i especialment els derivats del canvi global i...

L'Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) va acollir els passats dies 16 i 17 de maig el seu 1er Simposi de Primavera en què abordà alguns dels principals reptes ambientals i de sostenibilitat.

L'empresa amb la ciència espanyola

Organitzacions i patronals vinculades a l' R+D+I manifesten el seu suport a la investigació i se sumen a la petició de l'Aliança de centres Severo Ochoa i unitats Maria de Maeztu (SOMMa) perquè la classe política abordi el més aviat possible els problemes administratius que actualment afecten a la ciència a Espanya.

La transició a una economia baixa en carboni requerirà més recursos renovables del que es creia

Un estudi de l'ICTA-UAB analitza les conseqüències en els estils de vida que tindrà la substitució dels combustibles fòssils per energies renovables.

S'adapten millor al canvi climàtic els agricultors que formen part de cadenes locals d'usuaris?

Les sequeres, les inundacions i l'increment de les temperatures derivats del canvi climàtic no són les úniques amenaces a què han de fer front els agricultors amb cultius de reg.

El canvi climàtic amenaça les reserves de carboni de les praderies marines més grans del món

Les praderies de fanerògames marines de Shark Bay, un punt clau pel segrest de carboni, pateixen pèrdues alarmants després d'una devastadora onada de calor marina, segons un estudi en què participen investigadors de l’ICTA-UAB.

Les poblacions indígenes de l'Amazones cacen i consumeixen animals que s'alimenten en zones contaminades per abocaments petroliers

Un estudi de l'ICTA-UAB i del Departament de Sanitat i Anatomia Animals de la UAB demostra que les principals espècies que cacen els indígenes de la selva amazònica del Perú ingereixen aigua i terra contaminades per hidrocarburs i metalls pesats.

La app Planttes alerta del risc d’al·lèrgia als diferents carrers de les ciutats

La App Planttes és una eina de ciència ciutadana que emplaça als usuaris a identificar i ubicar sobre al mapa la presència de plantes al·lergèniques i a indicar-ne l’estat fenològic.

Els acords climàtics globals, més fàcils de negociar sota criteris de benestar humà

Un estudi de l'ICTA-UAB conclou que els acords contra el canvi climàtic resultarien més atractius per als països rics si s'analitzessin tenint en compte l'Índex de Desenvolupament Humà, en comptes del PIB.

Un projecte relacionarà meteorologia extrema, biodiversitat atmosfèrica i salut humana

Un projecte de l'ICTA-UAB liderat per la investigadora Jordina Belmonte estudiarà els efectes dels fenòmens meteorològics extrems sobre la biodiversitat biològica present en l'atmosfera per preveure possibles canvis en el medi ambient i afectacions a les salut humana.

L’Amazones bolivià, de camí a la deforestació

Una de les zones de major biodiversitat amazònica patirà pèrdues molt més “alarmants” amb l’aprovació d’una controvertida llei, segons denuncia un estudi realitzat per investigadors del ICTA-UAB.

Èxits de l’ICTA-UAB: cinc projectes ERC en dos anys

L’Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) ha rebut cinc ajuts del Consell Europeu de Recerca (ERC) en dos anys, el que suposa aproximadament el 10% dels ajuts d’aquesta institució atorgats a Catalunya durant el període de finals del 2015 a finals del 2017. Aquests cinc projectes suposaran la contractació de més de 30 investigadors doctorals i postdoctorals.

Científics alerten de la ràpida degradació dels ecosistemes marins i la seva greu repercussió per al planeta

Un llibre editat per investigadors de l'ICTA-UAB, la UB, el CNRS francès i l'IEO aborda el concepte de "bosc animal" i recorda l'important paper dels mars i oceans front al canvi climàtic.

La Fundació Bancària ”la Caixa”, l’ICTA-UAB i el CREAF presenten l’estudi pioner Boscos sans per a una societat saludable

• Àngel Font, director corporatiu de Recerca i Estratègia de la Fundació Bancària ”la Caixa”; Martí Boada, professor i investigador de l’Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals de la Universitat  Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).

Neix l'Aliança de centres i unitats d'excel·lència Severo Ochoa i María de Maeztu

La Secretària d'Estat d'I+D+i, Carmen Vela, ha presidit la primera reunió de la nova Aliança d'Excel·lència Severo Ochoa i María de Maeztu.

Un termòstat a l’edat de gel va evitar el refredament extrem del clima

Durant les edats de gel, un mecanisme regulador no identificat va evitar que les concentracions atmosfèriques de CO2 caiguessin per sota d'un nivell que podria haver donat lloc a un refredament ràpid.

Nova 'Guia de benvinguda' a l'ICTA-UAB

Ja teniu a la vostra disposició la nova 'Guia de Benvinguda' de l'ICTA-UAB. El document pretén ajudar a descobrir els fonaments del programa de doctorat, l'estructura de ICTA-UAB, etc.
Notícies
Candidates invited for 3 postdoc and 5 PhD student positions in ERC project of Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh

Data: 2017-09-13

Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh’s project “Behavioral-evolutionary analysis of climate policy: Bounded rationality, markets and social interactions” (EVOCLIM), awarded with a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant, offers three postdoc positions (two of 5 years and one of 3 years) and five PhD research positions (each 4 years). The project will run as of January 2018 for a period of 5 years.
 

Project description
The project will develop a new set of models to assess the performance of policy instruments – such as various carbon pricing and information provision instruments – in terms of employment, equity and CO2 emissions. Currently, distinct climate policies are studied with incomparable approaches involving inconsistent criteria and impacts. EVOCLIM aims to unite core features of such approaches within a behavioral-evolutionary framework, blending insights from behavioral, environmental and evolutionary economics. The key novelty is linking climate policies to populations of heterogeneous consumers and producers characterized by bounded rationality and social interactions. This offers three advantages: one can evaluate the effectiveness of very different climate policy instruments in a consistent and comparative way; one can examine policy mixes by considering interaction between instruments from a behavioral as well as systemic perspective; and one can simultaneously assess policy impacts mediated by markets and social networks. 

EVOCLIM will be guided by the following goals: (i) test the robustness of insights on carbon pricing from benchmark approaches that assume representative, rational agents; (ii) test contested views on joint employment-climate effects of shifting taxes from labor to carbon; (iii) examine various instruments of information provision under distinct assumptions about social preferences, interactions and networks; (iv) study regulation of commercial advertising as a climate policy option in the context of status-seeking and high-carbon consumption; and (v) explore behavioral roots of energy/carbon rebound. The research has a general, conceptual-theoretical rather than a particular country focus. Given the complexity of the developed models, it involves numerical analyses with parameter values in realistic ranges, partly supported by insights from questionnaire-based surveys among consumers and firms. One survey examines information provision instruments and social interaction channels, while another assesses behavioral foundations of rebound.

Broader scientific meaning of the project
EVOCLIM is ground-breaking in that it develops the first systematic program on behavioral-evolutionary thinking about climate policy. This creates bridges between environmental economics, behavioral economics, evolutionary economics and modelling, policy sciences, sociology and environmental psychology. It will support a consistent comparison of the full range of regulatory (both pricing and standard-setting) and information-provisioning instruments in climate policy. The project can further provide useful methodological lessons for other areas of public policy from an evolutionary systems angle. In addition, it may broaden the scope of evolutionary economics which so far has paid scant attention to environmental and climate policies. In particular, it contributes to a wave of macro-oriented evolutionary, multi-agent models, which serve as an alternative to both general equilibrium and mainstream macroeconomic models in public policy and economic analyses. The approach will further contribute to the field of energy/sustainability transition studies.

Positions and requirements
The organization of EVOCLIM in terms of sub-projects (SPs) is shown in the scheme below. The project will fund three postdoc positions (two of 5 years in SP1 and SP5, and one of 3 years in SP4) and four PhD researchers (each 4 years, in SP2 and SP3). Cooperation and synergies between the sub-projects will be secured by the two integrative sub-projects SP1 and SP5. The first of these develops the framework and basic models, and can be seen to assure consistency and synergy of SPs at a methodological level. Next, SP5 guides the survey questionnaires and integrates the policy insights produced by the other SPs, on the basis of which it further develops and analyses policy packages. 

Details about the five sub-projects
Specific research questions, addressing general issues, tangible instruments of climate policy, and policy packages, are addressed in 5 sub-projects (SPs) (visualized in the scheme):

1. The first, overarching, integrative sub-project addresses the question: How can we best model the relationship between climate policies, markets, social interactions, innovation-and-diffusion processes, bounded rationality, and heterogeneous agents? This SP aims to develop the general framework, learn from non-environmental macro-evolutionary models, traditional market equilibrium models, climate impact assessment studies and sustainability transition models. It undertakes general, theoretical analyses with these models to understand their structure and behavior, and supports particular elaborations and policy analyses in the other SPs. SP1 is executed by a postdoc researcher who interacts with the other SPs to assure a framework that balances their needs and requests.

2. The second SP examines how carbon pricing, considered by many as a core component of climate policy, functions under conditions of bounded rationality of polluters. Two main questions are addressed in two sub-projects: (2a) What are the differences in performance of carbon pricing under various types of bounded rationality of consumers and firms? This will address carbon taxes and emissions trading, to examine which is more effective under certain types of bounded rationality. The second question is: (2b) what are the innovation, employment and climate impacts of shifting taxes from labor to carbon under bounded rationality? This has been addressed with rational-agent equilibrium models in the “double dividend” literature. SP2b will assess the robustness of its findings with respect to behavioral assumptions by adapting the multi-agent models of SP1 to these questions. In particular, SP2 will assess the extent to which rational-agent studies overestimate the effectiveness and efficiency of carbon pricing. SP2a&b are tackled by 2 closely cooperating PhD students.

3. The third SP examines how information provision strategies in climate policy – like eco-labels, green awards, information campaigns, traditional media, and Internet-based social media – perform in a system characterized by bounded rationality, market processes and social interactions. Two sub-projects address two main questions associated with particular social interactions: (3a) How do different information policies compare in terms of employing imitation behavior, social norms and information diffusion to effectively spread climate-relevant information and exemplary conducts? This involves testing various features of information policies, such as appropriate framing of information provision or using “role models”. The second question is: (3b) How does the interaction of commercial advertising and social comparison driven by status-seeking drive the consumption of certain carbon-intensive goods and services, like cars and holidays, and what does this mean for policy design aimed at influencing such consumption? This involves an analysis of information provision instruments interacting with both carbon pricing and advertising. Modelling in SP3a&b is undertaken by 2 PhD students. They will jointly perform a questionnaire survey to examine how opinions on climate policy, climate relevant behaviors, and social interactions are connected.

4. The fourth SP addresses the behavioral foundations of energy/carbon rebound. It is motivated by the research question: How does bounded rationality of individuals/households and firms contribute to rebound, and how does this affect the estimates of different types of rebound as well as the formulation of “rebound policy”? This involves examining the role of different types of bounded rationality, such as myopia, habits, wrong goals, and connecting these to important rebound channels, like intensity effect, market effects, technological diffusion, etc. The project integrates these elements into a behavioral-evolutionary model to address this issue, which is intended to provide better insight into the relative performance of climate policy instruments on effectiveness, in terms of controlling carbon rebound. In addition, a questionnaire survey is performed to obtain empirical information about behavioral factors underlying rebound. This research is executed by a postdoc researcher.

5. The final SP synthesizes SP2-4 and provides an interface with other disciplines offering insights on climate policy, aimed at answering the question: Which policy packages combine equity, employment and climate goals under bounded rationality and are successful in escaping carbon lock-in? While SPs 2-4 address the performance of single instruments and the comparison of these, here combinations of instruments will be systematically studied, based on close interaction with the other SPs. Instrument complementarity and interaction is an incompletely solved issue in climate policy studies, and has not been systematically addressed in the context of bounded rationality and other-regarding preferences. Given its ambition and integrative character, SP5 is executed by a postdoc researcher.

How to apply
We are looking for suitable candidates with a background in behavioral economics, evolutionary economics, environmental economics, macroeconomics or some combination of these. Candidates from (social) psychology, (evolutionary or mathematical) biology, mathematics and computer science are also welcome to apply. Skills and experience in evolutionary modelling/computation or evolutionary game theory are highly appreciated for the postdoc and PhD student positions in SP1-4. Candidates for the postdoc position in SP5 need to have a good knowledge of climate economics/policy and experience with questionnaire-based surveys. Postdoc candidates should have at least two publications in good international journals. Salaries are competitive and negotiable, reflecting experience and excellence of candidates.

For expression of interest send your Curriculum Vitae, a letter of interest and names of three referents to Prof. van den Bergh via jeroen.bergh@uab.es.

 

EVOCLIM GRAPHIC

Activitats ICTA