URV Seminars on Climate Emergency: Scientific, political and socio-economic views


Rovira i Virgili University (URV) would like to take advantage of the opening of the new academic year to organise a conference that examines one of the issues that most concerns a large part of humanity today: the climate emergency and energy transition. The discussion will be based on current scientific and academic knowledge and will involve different stakeholders from the region. The aim of the conference is to bring together social, technical and academic agents to discuss the major challenges that climate change poses. It will examine the effects of energy management, consumption of resources, and social impacts (inequality), with special emphasis on the solutions researchers and research groups can provide through interaction with the region and with society as a whole.

The meeting aims to provide objective answers to how science can address the impacts and challenges posed by rapid climate transition and to anticipate responses to the challenges presented by the climate emergency for Southern Catalonia.

In order to achieve this goal, four sessions in related relevant disciplines have been planned. The first (on 7 October) will focus on providing information on how science contributes to improving our knowledge, monitoring and prediction of climate change. This session will also analyse how high-quality climate services can contribute to studying the climate impact on some of the most important social-ecological systems in Southern Catalonia, including our coastal areas, among others.

The second session (on 8 October) will focus on discussing and reinforcing R&D&I strategies that address the energy transition in order to define a joint agenda to help guide the strategy of the territory and the URV in this area in the coming years.

The third session (on 9 October) will coincide with the opening of the URV's new academic year. The inaugural address will be given by Clare Goodess, a researcher in the prestigious Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK). Dr Goodess will present the rationale and impetus behind the university’s decision to formally declare a climate and biodiversity emergency.

Lastly, the fourth session (on 10 October) will be organised as a forum in which civil society, socio-economic agents, the university, governmental administrations and political actors from the region can together discuss the actions, commitments and mobilisations required in the short, medium and long term to tackle the climate emergency and green energy transition in Southern Catalonia. In order to focus the debate, the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report will be presented, published in early August 2019: Climate Change and Land. This study places special emphasis on desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. One of its most relevant messages is that “the establishment of a global approach in which sustainability is rewarded, combined with the adoption of preventive measures is the best combination for tackling climate change”.