The International Academic Symposium, organized annually by the Chair of Energy Sustainability of the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB), has once again brought together energy experts from all over the world. This year, the conference was held in the Aula Magna of the historic building of the UB and the opening session was attended by Joan Guàrdia, rector of the UB; Martí Parellada, president of the IEB; María Teresa Costa, president of the Chair of Energy Sustainability; and José García Quevedo, director of the Department of Economics of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the UB.
The conference, which brought together experts from various countries, addressed a number of issues, above all the need to accelerate the pace of the ecological transition based on a strong increase in green investment, both public and private. The experts agreed that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will require the mobilization of a large amount of resources in the coming decades. These resources will go towards the development and implementation of disruptive new technologies, large-scale green infrastructures and novel methods of production and resource management. To achieve this critical transformation, it is essential to establish an efficient framework to channel financial support from both public and private sources. Maintaining the spirit of previous years, the Symposium has provided a platform for debate and discussion on the opportunities and challenges for achieving a sustainable green economy.
The plenary session that opened the event was led by Mar Reguant, a professor at Northwestern University. In her talk, Reguant spoke of the successes in the expansion of renewable energies and analysed the lessons learned in Spain and Chile: in the case of Spain, the improved market design, and in Chile the public efforts to coordinate the expansion of the network. Reguant stressed that “expanding and integrating renewable energies requires innovation, but not only in costs”.
The closing ceremony of the symposium was led by Professor Juan Pablo Montero of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Noting that congestion and local air pollution continue to be a serious problem in many countries around the world, Professor Montero closed the meeting by evaluating the main policies implemented in five cities to internalize the externalities generated by the transport sector in favour of the energy transition. During his presentation, Montero stated that “when it comes to (local) pollution, it is key to understand how the existing automobile fleet evolves in the long term.”
The following scholars also spoke in the various sessions of the symposium: Julien Xavier Daubanes (University of Geneva), Nicolas Hatem (Paris School of Economics), Rocío Román Collado (University of Seville), Cristina Pizarro (University of the Basque Country), François Cohen (Chair of Energy Sustainability and UB), Aurélien Saussay (London School of Economics and Political Science), Pia Andres (London School of Economics and Political Science), Sugandha Srivastav (University of Oxford), Daniel Davi-Arderius (Chair of Energy Sustainability and IEB), Maria Gaia Soana (University of Parma), Nicola Comincioli (University of Brescia) and Jordi Teixidó (UB).