Ecological economics (ECOLECON)
The Ecological Economics group (Eco2BCN) is a collaboration of researchers at the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) within Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona (UAB). Ecological economics is the interdisciplinary science of the study of sustainability. Their mission is to develop, apply and disseminate critical knowledge necessary for understanding causes and solutions to environmental problems — linking them to economic systems and policies that create or address these problems. They combine ecology with insights from economics, sociology, psychology, geography, planning and policy science.
Led by Giorgos Kallis
Since 2010, ICTA-UAB researchers have launched a research and advocacy initiative around the topic of degrowth, coordinating 9 special issues in scientific journals, and preparing a post-growth dynamic system models for the Europeaan Green Party. Research focuses on grassroots initiatives ans economic policies for a degrowth transition.
- Policies for managing without growth (Riccardo Mastini)
- Energy and carbon emissions involved in a clean energy transition (Aljoša Slameršak)
- Blue Degrowth – undoing the logic of growth in the Mediterranean Sea (Borja Nogué Algueró)
- Solidarity economies and reclaiming the commons (Angelos Varvaroussis – COSMO project funded by MINECO)
- The pluriverse of alternatives to development (Marta Music)
- Empowering women to take action against energy poverty in the Mediterranean (EmpowerMED - Sergio Tirado)
Led by Joan Martínez-Alier
Environmentalism is about Justice. Our economic system produces social and environmental injustices. Too many people, animals and plants are contaminated, displaced and killed. This is often linked to companies that provide our materials, food, water and energy. Communities and people try to resist pressures from these economic forces. But economic forces try to enforce increasingly violent digging and dumping on increasingly vulnerable and populated places. Alternative practices and narratives to the unsustainable economy exist and show the way forward.
Research based on the EJAtlas (a worldwide inventory of ecological distribution conflicts compiled at the ICTA-UAB) analyzes the resistance movements born from such conflicts and the networks they form across borders in a Global Environmental Justice Movement.
Led by Jeroen van den Bergh
The research aims to advance the evaluation of climate policy options, especially carbon pricing, with the use of a novel behavioral-evolutionary framework and questionnaires among stakeholders and the general population. They work on the following themes:
- Economic assessment of climate policy instruments, and design of effective and efficient policy packages.
- Study of the relationship between economic growth and the environment, focusing on energy and climate change.
- The application of insights and models from evolutionary economics to study an energy transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Analysis of environmental innovation with applications to renewable energy, notably wind and solar PV.
- The application of behavioral economics for analysis, design and public support of environmental and climate policies.
- Economic analysis of biodiversity and its management in terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
Led by Isabelle Anguelovski
Established as the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability (BCNUEJ), they examine the structural and systemic drivers of social inequalities, exclusion, oppression, and neo-colonization in cities. Building on the theory and methods from urban planning, public policy, urban and environmental sociology, urban geography and public health, they analyze the extent to which urban plans and policy decisions contribute to more just, resilient, healthy, and sustainable cities, and how community groups in distressed neighborhoods contest environmental inequities as a result of urban (re)development processes and policies.
They believe in putting the needs of socially vulnerable groups at the center of sustainable urban land use practices and planning decisions, and prioritizing justice-driven responses to environmental and climate-related challenges. Their emphasis is on understanding the role that community, public, and private institutions can play in creating prosperous, welcoming and supportive cities for all.
Led by Sergio Villamayor-Tomás
The commons as an alternative to growth-based development. Understand how and why new solidarity commons emerge, how they are sustained and how they might be scaled up and provide alternatives to growth-based development.