Special Issue "Energy, Climate and the Environment After COVID-19, Lessons Learned and Future Projections: A Biophysical Perspective"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Air, Climate Change and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jordi Solé Ollé
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Campus Sescelades, Avda. Països Catalans 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
Interests: climate change; energy transition; oceanography; ecology; complex systems
Dr. Roger Samsó Campà
E-Mail
Guest Editor
CREAF, Campus UAB. Edifici C. 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: climate change; energy transition
Prof. Dr. Santiago Sabaté Jorba
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Evolutive Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, University of Barcelona. Diagonal, 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: ecology; natural resources; climate change; energy transition

Special Issue Information

The coronavirus pandemic has not finished, but it is already showing some of the dangers that the greed for unlimited consumption, which is the basis of our cultural and economic system, can involve. The need for growth is a non-negotiable totem of our contemporary mainstream economy. As a result, as lockdown has been revealed to be the way to control the pandemic, our socio-economy (without the possibility for growth in this period) is showing dramatic consequences: unemployment, increasing social exclusion, increased poverty, and so on. On the other side, as a case of zoonosis, the pandemic reveals how humanity’s impacts on the environment and ecosystems have consequences for our health and socio-economy. This Special Issue aims to consider what we have learned from the pandemic in order to propose future changes in our globalized society from an integrative point of view.

Scope. Research regarding the influence of the pandemic on the energy transition and climate change within Earth’s biophysical limits. Special focus is placed on the effects that COVID-19 and the subjacent socio-economic crisis will have on the resources required for energy transition to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and also to reduce environmental impacts at global and regional (continental) scales. Will upcoming economic crisis affect/modify the current strategies at all geopolitical levels for climate change adaptation?

Purpose. To help delineate future scenarios post-pandemic in the short/medium-term, taking into consideration the overlapping effects of climate change, the derived COVID-19 socio-economic crisis, and the Earth’s biophysical limits. All scenarios should consider resource limitations.

Focus: Four main knowledge areas will be analyzed: socio-economy, energy, climate, and environment. In terms of socio-economy, manuscripts that address post-Keynesian approaches, particularly ones that aim to guide in-depth socio-economic transformations, will be considered. Such approaches should consider not only different economic indicators (beyond GDP), but also new/existing methodologies helping to integrate biophysical resources and human welfare. In the area of energy, we welcome studies analyzing the energy transition to renewable energy sources together with the impacts that this transition could have on climate change and the environment. The consideration of the possible limitation of resources devoted to the energy transition that the upcoming economic crisis could will also be very welcomed. In terms of climate, papers analyzing the effects that climate change could have on environmental degradation or on the efficient implementation of renewable energy sources are especially encouraged. Finally, our consideration of the environment will be devoted to the impacts that human activities (particularly those derived from sustainable development strategies) have (and will have) on the Earth’s ecosystems (both land and ocean), and how this could evolve in the future.

The underlying theme of these four areas is to analyze data of the pandemic time period, or to use models parameterized considering the COVID-19 pandemic, and their derived enhanced socio-economic crisis. We aim to gather papers which start from the current available information and derive lessons learned (both positive and negative) and attempt to provide a projection of the evolution of (one or all) of these four areas in the short/medium-term.

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather a balanced number of papers for each area. However, this does not exclude transdisciplinary papers approaching all of the areas in an integrative view.

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically showing the importance of integrated views on environmental/human health and climate issues. The current global challenges after COVID-19 cannot be faced as they have been in the past, taking all of them separately. Our modern society requires that future human challenges are approached from an integrated point of view. This means considering not only the socio-economy, but also cultural values and essential resources and services required for human welfare. In short, this pandemic, together with the underlying problem of the environment, is affecting (and will affect more deeply in the future) our cultural framework and how we will adapt/change the current trends for better management of the future crisis (climate, environment and economic). Therefore, it is urgent to start to analyze how we can construct a new cultural framework. This SI aims to be a first step in this direction.

We propose to learn from the COVID-19 crisis and look at how this could be used for global cultural transformation. For instance, COVID-19 has and is imposing lock-downs, which had/have dramatic consequences (unemployment, societal poverty, psychological impacts), but some other consequences have shown to be beneficial for the environment (less pollution, effects on wildlife). Current urgent environmental issues and climate change adaptation/mitigation strategies need to consider the lessons learned from this.

Our proposal for this SI is to focus on four areas, the socio-economy, climate, energy and environment, and, using the available data and models, suggest new scenarios and/or adaptations of the existing ones based on what we have observed these last months. In terms of socio-economy, manuscripts that address post-Keynesian approaches, particularly ones that aim to guide in-depth socio-economic transformations, will be considered. Such approaches should consider not only different economic indicators (beyond GDP), but also new/existing methodologies helping to integrate biophysical resources and human welfare. In the area of energy, we welcome studies analyzing the energy transition to renewable energy sources together with the impacts that this transition could have on climate change and the environment. In terms of climate, papers analyzing the effects that climate change could have on environmental degradation or on the efficient implementation of renewable energy sources are especially encouraged. Finally, our consideration of the environment will be devoted to the impacts that human activities (particularly those derived from sustainable development strategies) have (and will have) on the Earth’s ecosystems (both land and ocean), and how this could evolve in the future.

Thus, we aim to help to delineate future post-pandemic scenarios for the short/medium-term, regarding the overlapping effects of climate change, the derived COVID-19 socio-economic crisis and the Earth’s biophysical limits.

This issue will complement the already existing literature on energy transition, climate change mitigation/adaptation and ecological impacts by considering the future influence of the pandemic/economic crisis on the already existing projections and future scenarios.

If you are interested in these aspects and have work that can fit within its scope and aims, we strongly encourage you to submit your work to this Special Issue.

Best regards,

Dr. Jordi Solé Ollé
Dr. Roger Samsó Campà
Prof. Dr. Santiago Sabaté Jorba
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • climate change
  • COVID-19
  • biophysical limits
  • resource depletion
  • environment
  • energy transition
  • economic crisis

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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