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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA‑UAB)

The international scientific community to debate the dichotomy between economic growth and the fight against the climate crisis

06 Mar 2024
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Human activity is irreversibly changing our planet, especially the climate. The voracious demand for fossil fuels and natural resources has led us to an ecological breaking point, even after decades of climate action.


It's time to rethink how we manage our oceans, forests, cities, consumption patters and economic systems. And the science is here for it.

With the aim of addressing the most pressing environmental problems of our time, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is organising the "Growth vs Climate Conference 2024" from 13-15 March 2024. The event will gather leading scientists, thinkers, policymakers, activists and journalists at the UAB campus in Cerdanyola del Vallès.  

Around 400 international researchers from diverse disciplines will discuss different perspectives on growth in the fight against climate change, as a path for reversing the climate crisis. Will green growth, the bioeconomy or the Green New Deal be enough to avert a climate disaster, or should we look to degrowth or agrowth as alternative models? What are the tradeoffs associated with different mitigation strategies and how can we avoid rebound effects and negative social impacts?

The 3-day event will feature keynote speakers and presentations of scientific results on specific and cross-cutting themes, as well as policy debates and co-creation workshops organized across five societal challenges: Oceans, Land, Cities, Consumption and Policies.  Participants are challenged to rethink how we manage our oceans, forests, cities, consumption patterns and economic systems in order to ensure a secure future.  

Keynote speakers include ecofeminist Yayo Herrero; Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera; Secretary of State for Social Rights, Rosa Martínez Rodríguez; former Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs; economic anthropologist and ICTA-UAB researcher Jason Hickel, as well as the ecological economist of ICTA-UAB and Holberg Prizewinner 2023, Joan Martínez Alier, among others. The illustrator Javier Royo will lead a live graphic recording of the big ideas discussed during the event.

After 3 days of debates, the closing event will feature a talk by environmental activist Olivia Mandle, a performance by poetry slammer Adriana Bertran, and the human towers group of the UAB Ganàpies.  


Inaugural Session

Wednesday 13th March, 2024
Time: 13pm - Venue:
Exe Campus Hotel - UAB – Campus de la UAB

Keynote: “Transición ecosocial justa. Aterrizar en un planeta translimitado”

  • Yayo Herrero, anthropologist, ecofeminist and engineer.

Inaugural debate

Moderated by Jason Hickel, ICTA-UAB anthropologist.

  • Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
  • Rosa Martínez Rodríguez, Secretary of State for Social Rights, Spanish Government.
  • Alberto Garzón, former Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs.
  • Victoria Reyes- García, anthropologist, ICREA Professor at ICTA-UAB.
  • Jeroen van den Bergh, environmental economist, ICREA Professor at ICTA-UAB.
  • Joan Martínez Alier, ecological economist at ICTA-UAB, Holberg Prizewinner 2023.

Live graphic recording of debate by illustrator Javier Royo. 

Closing ceremony

Friday, 15th March, 2024
Time: 6pm - Venue: Exe Campus Hotel - UAB – Campus  UAB

  • Talk by environmental activist Olivia Mandle.
  • Poetry slam by Adriana Bertran.
  • Performance by UAB human towers group, Ganàpies.