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

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.

ICTA-UAB researcher Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

ICREA researcher at ICTA-UAB Victoria Reyes- García has been graced with a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) for the development of a project aimed at bringing insights from local knowledge to climate change research.

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".

Blockadia map by ICTA-UAB reveals global scale of anti-fossil fuel movement

A new interactive map by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) reveals the worldwide impact of resistance direct actions by people putting their own bodies in the way of fossil fuel projects.

The ICTA-UAB participated in the 100xCiencia.2 meeting in Alicante

The encounter, which was focused on the transfer of knowledge and technology, brought together representatives of 40 centres and research units “Severo Ochoa” and “María de Maeztu”, respectively.

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.

Green gentrification can limit the favourable effects of green areas on health

A scientific research conducted by ICTA-UAB and IMIM suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbours do not benefit equally from the effects newly created green areas have on health.

Oil contamination in the Amazon modifies chemical composition of rivers

A scientific study by the ICTA-UAB and ISS-EUR quantifies the environmental impact of oil extraction activities and contamination in headwaters of the Amazon.

ICTA-UAB researchers alert that oil palm plantations produce infertility in tropical lands

Oil palm plantations are replacing 40% of tropical forests and 32% of basic grain crops, according to an ICTA-UAB research conducted in Guatemala.

UAB scientists and citizens can identify Barcelona's allergy-causing plants with the new Plant*tes app

The UAB Point of Information on Aerobiology (PIA) presented its new Plant*tes app in Barcelona as part of the BArcelona City Council's project entitled "Ciència Ciutadana als barris".

EJAtlas Includes 2,100 Case Studies on Socio-Environmental Conflicts Around the World

The Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), created by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), currently includes 2,100 cases of ecological distribution conflicts identified in different parts of the world.

Unrestricted Improvements in Fishing Technology Threaten the Future of Seafood

A study conducted by ICTA-UAB researcher Eric Galbraith shows that future improvement of fishing technology poses a threat for the global fishery that could be greater than climate change.

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.

The New Theory of Economic “Agrowth” Contributes to the Viability of Climate Policies

 ICTA-UAB researcher Jeroen van den Bergh publishes in Nature Climate Change a study in which he proposes a new economic theory compatible with the fight against climate change.

European Project to Analyse the Effects of Waste Generated by Tourism on Mediterranean Islands

An European study involving the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma e Barcelona will address and propose solutions to the effects of the increase of waste generated by tourism on Mediterranean islands during the summer season.

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.
Seminaris
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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