The ICTA-UAB to Gather Worldwide Experts on Degrowth and Environmental Justice

The ICTA-UAB will organize the fifth edition of the Summer School on Degrowth and Environmental Justice from June 24 to July 6.

Agricultural intensification not a “blueprint” for sustainable development

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

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.

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.

Spain: Industry sides with science

Organizations of the industry, and associations connected to R+D+i express their support towards research, backing the petition of the Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu alliance (SOMMa) which advocates in favour of the political class acting to clear the administrative problems currently affecting science in Spain.

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.

Global climate treaty easier to negotiate if guided by Human Development Index

A study by ICTA-UAB concludes that agreements against climate change would be more attractive to rich countries if they were analyzed taking into account the Human Development Index, instead of GDP.

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.

Bolivian Amazon on road to deforestation

Amazon biodiversity hotspot to suffer even more “alarming” losses after contentious law passed, according to a study involving ICTA-UAB researchers.

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.

Scientists Alert of Swift Degradation of Marine Ecosystems and Grave Consequences for the Planet

A book edited by researchers from the ICTA-UAB, the UB, the CNRS and the IEO addresses the concept of "animal forest" and highlights the importance of the role seas and oceans have in combating climate change.

Research to study the health effects of forests

The ICTA-UAB, CREAF and the "la Caixa" Bank Foundation recently presented the project "Healthy Forests for a Healthy Society".

Launch of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence

​ The Secretary of State for R&D+i, Carmen Vela, chaired the kickoff meeting of the new Severo Ochoa and Maria Maeztu Alliance of Excellence.

Ice age thermostat prevented extreme climate cooling

During the ice ages, an unidentified regulatory mechanism prevented atmospheric CO2 concentrations from falling below a level that could have led to runaway cooling, reports a study conducted by researchers of the ICTA-UAB and published online in Nature Geoscience this week.

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.
News
New ICTA-UAB map shows success, concerns and challenges of the transition away from fossil fuels and coal industry in Australia

Date: 2017-12-14

ICTA-UAb map of transition from fossil fuels

Resistance against massive coal-mining in Australia and a growing movement for a ‘just transition’ from fossil fuels have enjoyed some success but face massive challenges, as shown in a new map developed by researchers from the international ACKnowl-EJ project of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)  and the Australian Environmental Justice (AEJ) research team at the Centre for Urban Research (RMIT University, Melbourne) in partnership with Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia.

The “Just Transition from Fossil Fuels in Australia” map is the latest of several featured on the Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), a global platform mapping environmental conflicts around the world developed by ICTA-UAB researchers. A ‘just transition’ refers to fast tracking actions that will reduce carbon emissions without disadvantaging workers and communities. The map includes a variety of cases of resistance to fossil fuel extraction and use in Australia, but in particular hones in on coal as it is especially dirty and thus the focus of much transitions-activism.

The database supporting the map offers details of case studies for activists pressuring for a just transition from coal production “addressing difficulties associated with closing power plants and proposals for expansion of mines and new mines. In a just transition we avoid substituting use of coal with gas or oil”, points out Associate Professor Anitra Nelson from AEJ project who points out that cases include damage and ongoing risks of oil spills to the ocean and union struggles against unsafe practices for workers on offshore gas platforms.

The cases show local environmental non-government organisations (ENGOs), Indigenous peoples, citizens, communities, scientists, local governments and political parties mobilising around the call for a just transition from coal. The cases refer the closures of coal production facilities such as South Australia’s Port Augusta and Victoria’s Anglesea and the Latrobe Valley due to lack of economic viability, successful activism, ageing infrastructure and increasing renewable energy supply and demand. When power stations close quickly with little support for communities relying on the local industry, a ‘just transition’ supports retraining for new jobs in clean industries, environmental protection and restorative justice.

Current coal extraction and processing have numerous social and environmental costs, including air pollution from dust and pollutants caused by drilling and blasting, excavation, movement of overburden, waste removal and transportation of coal.

Victorian ENGO Environmental Justice Australia reports that over 3,000 Australians die from exposure to air pollution annually and the cost of coal combustion damage to people’s health is estimated to be A$2.6 billion per annum. Then there are unsafe and insecure work conditions, community powerlessness and the loss of a sense of place when coal production dominates a neighbourhood. A critical concern for people worldwide is the contribution of not only coal but also oil and gas production and use to global climate change.

The new map and the cases studied are the initial stage of a more detailed and expansive project supporting action research on environmental justice campaigns and providing a forum for publicly documenting cases of environmental injustice in Australia.

More than 2,200 cases of environmental justice have been mapped on the EJAtlas’ interactive database, identifying and providing details of socio-environmental conflicts worldwide. The work of hundreds of activist–scholar collaborators — academic researchers, ENGOs and concerned citizens — feature conflicts including biodiversity conservation, mining, climate justice and waste management. The EJAtlas is expanding through the three-year ACKnowl-EJ project funded by the International Social Science Council. ACKnowl-EJ focuses on ‘the transformative potential of citizen movements, “participatory” approaches to environmental politics, and new institutional practices born from diverse knowledge systems, showing how alternatives are often born from resistance’.

 

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