ICTA-UAB shares protective material with hospitals

ICTA-UAB is since last Monday 16 March 2020, an Institute with Restricted Access. Most of the laboratories are empty, the Scientific and Technical Services are closed, only the basic services are working and most of the people is working and staying at home.

Se prevén niveles de polen altos y avanzados para esta primavera. No confundir la alergia con el COVID-19

Las polinizaciones de esta primavera y verano comenzarán unos días antes de lo habitual y serán importantes, alcanzando niveles por encima de la media (del período 1994-2019).

ICTAS2020 Conference: Important Update regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak

ICTAS2020 Conference: Important Update regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak .

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

What elements and characteristics should forests have to influence human health?

Despite the increasing interest of the scientific community and society towards the potential of forests as a source of human health, the existing scientific literature does not allow for a coherent relationship between the type of forest and different health variables.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Proof of Concept grant linked to the LICCI project

Victoria Reyes-García ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the 76 top researchers that will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants.

ICTA-UAB demands the UAB to reduce number of flights

Given our current climate emergency, recently acknowledged by the UAB, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has drawn up a proposal urging the University to put into action a new travel policy to tackle one of its most polluting activities: Flying.

New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy.

Mining waste dumped into Portmán Bay continues to release metals into the sea 25 years later

The waters of the Mediterranean Sea continue to receive dissolved metals from the mining waste deposited in Portmán Bay (Murcia) 25 years after the cessation of mining activity.

A new ICTA-UAB project to assess the impacts of micro- and nano-plastics in the tropical and temperate oceans

A new project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Patrizia Ziveri is one of five projects selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans).

Big data reveals extraordinary unity underlying life’s diversity

Limits to growth lie at the heart of how all living things function, according to a new study carried out by ICTA-UAB researchers  .
News
New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

Date: 2019-11-18



It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy. In many respects, Germany’s Energiewende personifies the poster child of that effort. Unfortunately, substantial investments in the Energiewende have not yet yielded significant reductions in GHG emissions and political disillusionment has emerged as an unwelcome result. Decarbonization efforts in other European countries risk making similar blunders unless the contemporary EU policy discourse is thoroughly cross-examined.

A new paper, published last week in Energy Research & Social Science, calls into question the credibility of electricity decarbonization narratives in Europe. The work, authored by researchers Ansel Renner and Mario Giampietro of ICTA-UAB in Barcelona, proposes a novel methodological approach for the study of complex issues such as electricity decarbonization.
“Quantitative story-telling,” explains Renner, “is a rejection of our shared Reductionist upbringings. It embraces the discipline of complex systems analysis and, in the context of European electricity decarbonization, brings to light a number of serious causes for concern.”

Defibrillating the socio-technical discourse
Renner and Giampietro’s paper identifies the Achilles’ heel of the EU decarbonization policy discourse to be the hyperfixation of that discourse on structural change. It is highly unlikely, the study finds, that the “EU’s heroic transition” will result successful unless that transition substantially increases its engagement with functional societal change.

Such a change implies moving from questioning what technologies are “made of” to questioning what technologies are “made for”. For example, it may not be wise to assume that advances in solar photovoltaic technologies—coupled with the highly anticipated advent of electric vehicles and smart grids—will suffice to realize radical decarbonization in the immediate future. Instead, it may be wise to spend equal effort on policies that motivate use changes, including, for example, reductions in long-distance travel as well as the sharing of cars and apartments.

“When I was an undergraduate,” remarks Giampietro, “universities had entire departments tasked with the study of energetics. Unfortunately for us, that field has since been systematically eliminated. Our study attempts to reinvigorate the contemporary discourse on decarbonization by identifying a number of ‘elephants in the room’ inspired by energetics.”

The paper is also part of a greater cause and mission statement—that of the EU Horizon 2020 project Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity (MAGIC). The MAGIC project has been working closely with European policymakers over the past three years, building a strong résumé of heterodox analysis informing the resource nexus. More information and studies on and about water-energy-food resource security in Europe are available on the project website. https://magic-nexus.eu/

Artículo Científico
Renner A., Giampietro M. (2019). Socio-technical discourses of European electricity decarbonization: Contesting narrative credibility and legitimacy with quantitative story-telling. Energy Research & Social Science. Available https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2019.101279.

 

ICTA's Activities