Recovering our link with nature

Recovering our link with nature

In the end, I coukd not resist…I went to see AVATAR 2. Even in 3D! The idea of recalling the sensations I experienced 13 years ago as a spectator of one of the greatest technological advances in animation of the 21st century, won over the laziness of being inside a cinema for a whopping three hours. However, this time I wanted to see how something that already caught my attention in the first film of the saga had evolved: being able to establish a direct link with nature. Amazing!

Having seen the “movie” and coming back to reality, I believe that we have never lost our link with nature but have ignored it thinking that it was no longer necessary for us and that only technological advances would make this world a better place, disregarding our natural essence. It is important to know that any measure developed to protect an ecosystem, and the biodiversity that inhabits it, will protect us as part of that biodiversity and will only improve our living conditions.

Source: Raúl Sánchez Francés

Currently there is a growing need to get in touch with nature, either due to being fed up with a sedentary and overly urban life, to practice sports or to come into contact with nature and the trees that inhabit it, but without knowing the multiple benefits that his “forest or nature bath” is providing. Although it is believed that the concept of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku in Japanese) seems to have an ancient origin, it was not until the early 1980s when the Japanese forest authorities promoted the concept to bring people closer to the benefits of the forest. The feeling of well-being that we perceive walking through the forest has a proven scientific explanation. Already in the middle of the 20th century it was shown that certain conifers were capable of purifying/disinfecting their environment by generating a natural antibiotic (phytoncides), mainly in response to the attack they continually receive from fungi. This has a a direct consequence that the presence of trees in residential areas improves the health of its inhabitants.

Source: Raúl Sánchez Francés

There is clear evidence about the essential role that green and blue spaces play in promoting a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. In urban and peri-urban areas, natural spaces reduce exposure to potentially harmful factors such as excessive heat, noise, and air pollution. Studies have shown that green areas surrounding urban spaces are associated with lower mortality.

Similarly, various experimental and observational studies have shown that exposure to nature is associated with improvements in cognition, brain activity, blood pressure, sleep, physical activity and mental health. Special relevance is given to the improvement of mental health (anxiety, depression and stress) due to activity in nature. An increase in well-designed, equitably distributed adn accesible green/blue spaces, as promoted by the concept of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), is an important factor in preserving and improving mental health and well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic recession have affected the mental health of the population, with an increase un symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders, and have highlighted the need to improve our understanding of the specific types and characteristics of nature that are key to mental health.

At CARTIF, we have been working for some time on the re-naturalization of our cities, environments and all those inhabited spaces that have lost their natural quality, with the purpose of making our cities more livable…but in a natural way and in coexsitence with nature. Projects like Urban GreenUP, MyBuildingisGreen, NATMED…are a sample of this.

Taking all this into account, the medical prescription of forest bathing, of solutions based on nature or what we have called therapies based on nature (Nature based Therapies) is getting closer.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Odile Rodríguez de la Fuente, Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente´s daughter, about the bond with nature that her father instilled in her and her sisters and that she still maintains, from her facet as a disseminator of nature, which she performs in a fantastic way. It was undoubtely Félix who perceived the disconnect between human beings and nature at a key moment in the country´s growth, which made his work even more difficult but which has allowed him to leave a deeper and more lasting mark, laying the foundations for the sought-after link with nature.

It is about looking for real and deep connections between the human being and the natural world, which go beyond cultural work in the field or some gardening experiences such as the erroneous perception that tomato plants slowly fatten when being caressed… as if it was a test of love. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you caress a tomato plant every day, its vertical growth slows down and its stem thickens, but it is nothing more than a natural reaction to a fictitious load from the wind.

However, we still have time to protect the nature that surrounds us, to bring nature closer to our cities and living spaces, and to reconnect, to link ourselves with nature.

We say goodbye to mySMARTLife

We say goodbye to mySMARTLife

The closing process of a successful project, executed for 7 years continuously (60 months of implementation and almost a year of preparation), always carries a bittersweet feeling.

On the one hand, there is the satisfaction of having achieved the objective, which is none other than reaching the major energy and environmental impacts committed to. On the other hand, in the case of mySMARTLife, where the main beneficiaries are the citizens, this feeling of satisfaction is even greater. But it is also true that there is a certain feeling of melancholy, especially related to the foreseeable lack of contact with the many people from organisations in different countries who have accompanied you throughout this process. It is something like being relieved, happy and satisfied, but at the same time a little sad at having to say goodbye to colleagues and friends with whom it will not be so easy to keep in touch due to the distance. Something difficult to explain, but I’m sure many of you who read this blog have experienced it at some point.

mySMARTLife leaflet

After a few days in which CARTIF has managed to recover from the tremendous effort required to close our mySMARTLife project, as the famous song by Mecano (so appropriate for these dates) says, it is time to take stock of the good and the bad.

mySMARTLife was a project that involved three cities of the size of Nantes in France, Hamburg in Germany and Helsinki in Finland, surrounded by strong innovation ecosystems, which committed to improve energy efficiency by 55% in three districts and to cover the remaining energy demand with at least 54% from renewable energy sources. In addition, they also committed to a massive deployment of electro-mobility actions and to improve and strengthen existing data acquisition and decision-making platforms in the three cities. To this end, the project undertook to design, implement and evaluate 140 actions, which have already been successfully implemented and have leveraged more than 200 million euros of investment, receiving close to 18 million euros of funding from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme.

CARTIF congratulates itself for having fulfilled this ambitious commitment. The numbers, which are usually cold, in this case allow us to certify the resounding success of the project.

147,054 m2 of heated space have been rehabilitated or built under high energy efficiency criteria. 8,777.59 MWh of net energy have been saved per year in the three districts by the energy efficiency actions deployed and 4,350 electric vehicles have been deployed in the three cities (including 388 electric buses). In short, 33,145 tonnes of CO2 are not emitted annually into the atmosphere in the three cities as a whole. In the local vernacular, that’s a great deal…

This overwhelming success is further complemented by the three energy transition plans in the follower cities, which are already underway, starting the implementation phase of the actions studied in many cases. Such as the district heating in Palencia, the city closest to us, which is already in its implementation phase. As said before, the numbers in this case do reflect the achievements of the 6 cities accompanied by the rest of the project partners.

Before closing mySMARTLife, I would like to mention or highlight some of the most emblematic or innovative actions. In Helsinki, a 3D Energy Atlas was developed to help plan solar actions throughout the city. In Hamburg, hydrogen (H2) was injected into a gas network. For several days, up to 40% hydrogen was injected into the grid. In Nantes, 22 electric buses with a length of 24 metres and a capacity of 150 passengers were designed and deployed. In Hamburg, in addition to deploying 80 electric buses, a complete electrification of a bus depot station for recharging, mainly at night, was carried out. Finally, two electric mini-buses were piloted for the first time in France or Finland under autonomous driving in real traffic conditions. These are just a few examples of the actions deployed by mySMARTLife.


But as in CARTIF we do not take even a minute of rest, we are ready to start new adventures. On the 31st of January, 1st and 2nd of February we start NEUTRALPATH, a project around the theme of Positive Energy Clean Districts, in which we will work with the cities of Zaragoza, Dresden, Istanbul, Vantaa and Ghent. But this will be the subject of a future blog. Stay tuned…

Beyond strategy. Smart use of engineering expertise.

Beyond strategy. Smart use of engineering expertise.

“Divide et impera”, popular ancient Rome motto later attributted to the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. “Divide and dominate” or better known as “Divide and rule”, was the strategic foundation on which the Roman Empire was built (27 bC – 476 ac). Almost nothing. In line with the political and military relevance of this slogan, in the mathematical field, it gave its name to one of the eight classic heuristic strategies of problem solving, together with codification, organisation, experimentation, analogy, introduction of auxiliary elements, search for regularities and assumption of the solved problem.The others are proper notation, solution drawing, systematic experimentation, analogy, introduction of auxiliary elements, problem reformulation and way back.

The solution strategy we are talking about is based on breaking a problem into a set of smaller sub-problems, solving these sub-problems, and combining the solutions. This methodology is widely used in various scientific fields and that under different names, theorems, or methos, such as the method of integration by parts (integral calculus) or the principle of virtual jobs (strength of materials), has promoted the resolution of complex problems by converting them into multiple “easily” solvable problems.

If there is one thing that characterises the world of engineering, it is precisely this eagerness to transform problems. We have all heard the joke about how an engineer calculates the volume of a cow and how, compared to the functions of approximation to a surface and its subsequent integration that a mathematician would carry out or the performance of a physicist using Archimedes’ principle and putting the cow in a swimming pool, the engineer would give his solution by approximating the cow to a sphere.

In the field of structural engineering, the branch in charge of the design and calculation of structural elements and systems to ensure in advance an optimal structural response (safe, resistant and functional) applies the mechanics of continuous media, a super nice calculation model in the “academic” world whose application in real life is very “chunky”. That´s why we resor to the finite element method, another “divide and conquer” engineering glorification, where the strategy is to convert the continuous medium into a finite number of parts, “elements”, whose behaviour is specified by a finite number of parameters at certain characteristic points or “nodes”. This is commonly called “simulation”, although it should at least be called numerical.

Professionally, I work in this area to design “things” optimally. But when these things are sets of configurable elements or product catalogues, and we want to cover all the options to offer the best, we could talk about the need to develop dimensioning applications or system and product calculation configurators.

Well, after years working on these developments for different sectors, I can say, without fear, that dismembering a project among the different knowledge teams will be the iceberg that leaves us frozen. It seems logical to think that if we are talking about the development of a robust validation application of a configurable product, we need someone who knows the product perfectly, with all its variants and possibilities, its terminology, its meaning, its cost and even its soul, if I may say so. In the same way that we need, at this level of knowledge, someone capable of calculating and validating the product in resistant and functional terms and who knows how to transform, transcribe or visualise this numerical validation in a user-friendly platform. NO, prepare the lifeboats. A dose of reality difficult to digest for an engineer and staunch defender of multidisciplinary projects like me and of breaking down problems. NOT EXACTYL, get lifeboats ready. A dose of reality difficult to admit for an engineer staunch defender of multidisciplinary projects.

Professional experience, with blood, sweat and tears included, has improved our conception of strategy, avoiding sectorial strategies that push the global objective, and ultimately the product, to the background. And to understand this, there is nothing better than the well known expression “cobbler to your shoes”. Do you know what I’m talking about, not yet?

However the presence of different team members’ roles in this kind of work, make it impossible to detect errors or incoherencies derived from lack of conception and lack of understanding cooperation between professionals. It is unavoidable. Architects and engineers do not speak on the same scale, for example. In addition sectoral strategies relegate the functions of the “expert of the product” to setting the norms, rules or ranges of consideration. Which seems quite illogical since the expert is separated from the course of the project. The question is how do we detect failures? and when? it may be even more important. Everything points to final report. So we work such as Titanic’s valiant musicians and we’ll see how the ocean of corrections treats us. I’m talking about that ocean like a succession of final versions succession in which we will be submerged by unforeseen failures and with the corresponding increasing final workload. Now we do know what we’re talking about, don’t we?  

All this, without going into responsibilities which it have also been diluted. To blame are those who…If the person or persons responsible had bid me do so, I might have…

In this sense it is impossible to offer a service aimed to set up validation of configurable products application development if it is not a completely calculation project. So Turnkey project or I hope you are good swimmers.

However, trainings should also be conducted by people that are knowledgeable about the subject matter or the product, better even than costumer who can have been in the business for more than 30 years. We must become experts and think. It’s the only way to cope successfully such a service and that under a holistic approach where each part must be considered as one. So we avoid misinterpretations, unreasonable casuistic,   excessive computing (no scale-resolving simulations) and cannot effectively communicate (the customer never knows what he wants until you show it to them). I want to stand out with it the necessity of acting “in” the moment and “for” the future.

For those interested in these possibilities… where are we going to find someone who wants to learn? To find someone who wants to ask questions? To find someone who can improve the product and performance for your company, and have the ability to do so. I am talking about to use experimental or scientific techniques, with computational capacity and that you can also implement it on a platform so that its usability improves, for example, the competitiveness of the different technical and sales departments of other companies? Can you imagine pressing a button to get the weekly job of a technician?

Welcome to CARTIF

Artificial Intelligence, an intelligence that needs non-artificial data

Artificial Intelligence, an intelligence that needs non-artificial data

The common denominator of artificial intelligence is the need of available, good qualilty and real data to advance in the different procedures needed to create and train the models. Practical research in AI often lacks available and reliable datasets so the practitioners can try different AI algortihms to solve different problems.

In some industrial research fields like predictive maintenance is particularly challenging in this aspect as many researchers do not have access to full-size industrial equipment or there are not available datasets representing a rich information content in different evolutions of faults that can happen to an asset or machine. In addition to that, the available datasets are clearly unbalances as the norm for machines is that they operate properly and only few examples of faults appear during their lifetime.

It´s very important from the AI research point of view the availability of reliable and interesting data sources that can provide a variety of examples to test different signal processing algorithms and introduce students and researchers into practical application such as signal processing, classification or prediction.

The ideal situation for researchers and developers of artificial intelligence solutions is that everyone, to a certain extent, shares data. But sharing data cannot be seen only as a way to help other people, sharing research data can bring many advantages to the data donor:

  • It´s part of good data practice and open science as it is encouraged to make data accesible together with the scientific papers generated.
  • Cut down on academic fraud and prevent publications of studies based on fake data.
  • Validate results. Anyone can make a mistake, if we share the data we used, other researchers could replicate our work and detect any potential error in our work.
  • More sicentific breakthroughs. This is especially true in social and health science where data sharing would enable for example more studies in human brain as Alzheimer´s Disease and many others.
  • A citation advantage. Studies that make data available in a public repository are more likely to receive more citations than similar studies for which the data is not made available.
  • Best teaching tools based on real cases.

At Europe level the European Commission has launched the Open Research Europe, a scientific publishing service, for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries with a service to publish their results in full compliance with commission open access  policies.  The  service  provides  an  easy,  high  quality  peer-reviewed  venue  to  publish  their  results  in  open  access,  at  no  cost  to  them.  Other interesting service part of this open research initiative is Zenodo, an open repository to upload your research results. In  addition  to  the  open research publishing  guidelines,  data  guidelines  are also available which adheres the F.A.I.R principles too and refers a number of trusted repositories like Zenodo, that we are obliged to use based on the European project rules.

The FAIR guiding principles for publishing data mean that the data and its meta-data that defines it must be:

  • Findable:  (meta)data are assigned a globally unique and persistent identifier.
  • Accessible: (meta)data are retrievable by their identifier using a standardized communications protocol.
  • Interoperable: (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.
  • Reusable: meta(data) are richly described with a plurality of accurate and relevant attributes.

Besides, from the governmental point of view European Commission, both European Data Strategy and Data Governance policy are powerful initiatives focus on the implementation of European data spaces, among which the Commission proposes the creation of a specific European industrial (manufacturing) data space to take advantages of the strong European industrial base and improve their competitiveness.

As researchers in CARTIF, we are committed to promote such openness with our research projects. For example, for CAPRI project it has been recently created its own Zenodo channel repository, where we periodically upload project results of the advanced solutions we are developing for the process industry such as cognitive sensors or cognitive control algorithms. You can go to the repository and inspect more than 40 datsasets, sourcecode or videos we already have uploaded.

Biomass. Now yes?

Biomass. Now yes?

Many people will have an accurate idea of what biomass is and what it represents in our society. In an energy context in which energy prices are continually breaking historical records, there are already many consumers who, in view of the imminent winter, have found in biomass the solution to try to reduce their heating bills.

For several decades now we have been listening that biomass is a renewable energy resource capable of replacing fossil energy with guarantees, but with the feeling that it has not yet been able to kick down the door and take off definitively, which would change the paradigm of bioenergy in Spain once and for all.

To use an expression from cycling slang, biomass in Spain has always beien “doing the rubber”behind the leading countries (Finland, United Kingdom and Germany, among others). It is true that it has experienced sustainable growth in recent years in all the links of its value chain, but perhaps not at the pace that could be expected, taking into account the expectations created in the past.


Numbers do not deceive. Although between 2014 and 2019 (pre-pandemic) the total installed biomass capacity in Spain grew by 9 % [REE], the available forestry potential is still not adequately managed. Currently, some 4.3Mt/year of forest biomass is consumed for energy uses, which represents approximately 41 % of the total available, far from the countries of northern Europe, with a long tradition of forestry, which reach levels of over 70 % [APPA].

In any case, we may think that the national bioenergy sector is already sufficiently mature. An unmistakable sign of this is the fact that, at present, practically all the national production of biofuels is consumed in Spain, due to the increase in demand for combustion equipment, and therefore fuel [AVEBIOM]. However, society in general may still find it difficult to perceive the real dimension of what biomass has to offers, and some recurring questions arise around it, such as,for example…

  • Biomass promotes access to a reliable and cleaner source of energy?
  • The use of biomass reduces CO2 emissions into the environment?
  • Biomass helps to combat the drama of forest fires, which destroy hundreds of thousands of hectares of land in Spain every summer?
  • Biomass helps to fix economic activity in the rural environment and to fight against another drama of some autonomous communities, such as depopulation?
  • Is Biomass cheaper than the fossil alternative? If i buy a pellet cooker, will I save on the thermal energy consumption?

Technological developments in the field of bioenergy and the current situation in the sector invite us to answer all these questions in the affirmative. Because bioenergy is environmentally neutral, and its use doesn´t contribute to global warming through CO2 emissions. Because proper forest management helps to mitigate the risk of forest fires. And because giving value to the Spanish forestry sector means boosting economic activity in rural areas, tackling the major problem of depopulation.

“Biomass in Europe is positioned as a strategic energy source to reduce our dependence on Russian gas and other forms of fossil energy”

Von der leyen. (european commission president)

But this will not be easy to achieve in the short term. At present, Spain would need to adequately manage almost 10Mt/year of dry wood in order not to depend on Russian gas, that is to say, it would have to triple its current consumption.

The present of biomass has been inevitably linked to various social, geopolitical and health events, which have had a devastating impact worldwide. In early 2020, the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which in 2021 “led to an unprecedented situation of rising commodity prices and an energy crisis due to the rising cost of energy caused by the increase in the price of fossil fuels. Furthermore, in february 2022, without having digested all of the above, Russia´s invasion of Ukraine led to a cruel war which, apart from the humanitarian drama it entailed, generated an unprecedented escalation in gas prices, introducing even more uncertainity in the supply of raw materials and energy at a global level.

As if this weren´t enough, the summer of 2022 saw an all-time record number of forest fires in Spain, devastating more than 250,000 hectares of forest and woodland ,the worst in the last 15 years [EFFIS]

However, in the words of Javier Díaz (AVEBIOM), in 2022 the biomass sector in Spain may also be remembered for facing all these difficulties and placing itself in an advantageous position to definitively overtake gas and electricity of fossil origin. The escalation of gas prices has significantly changed the current bioenergy market landscape, forcing the sector to adapt in order to cope with the high demand, both in the domestic and industrial spheres. With the fear of a possible Russian gas supply cut in the middel of winter leading to even higher prices, consumers want to switch to biomass and use it in their boilers and cookers. It is estimated that demand for wood or pellet cookers and fireplaces will increase by 20-30 %, which will be higher in the colder months. [AEFECC]

In recent years,the price stability of bioenergy has been a hallmark of its identity compared to fossil fuels, although this may currently generate some controversy, given that the price of a 15kg bag pellets has doubled in just one year, due to the generalised inflationary situation of raw materials. Some cyclical effects related to the sector do not help either, such as the real impact on the market following the application of a reduced VAT rate (5 %), in the last four months of 2022, on some solid biofuels (pellets, briquettes and firewood). Far from achieving the expected effect, unjustifies price increases have been detected by some distributors of these products, making it a wasteful measure for many consumers [OCU].

Source: AVEBIOM.

Since its creation almost 30 years ago, CARTIF has made a strong commitment to biomass as an agent of innovation, developing R&D proejcts aimed at promoting its use and improving its efficiency. Furthermore, for the last ten years we have also been biomass consumers, as one one of our three buildings currently covers its thermal demand for hot water and heating with a wood pellet boiler.

In addition, CARTIF also actively participates in the ENplus® quality scheme (certification system that regulates and control s the wood pellets sector in Europe). In 2015 we became an ENAC accredited Test Body (nº335/LE1276) for the analysis and testing of solid biofuels, being the first Spanish laboratory to achieve this.

As in so many other industrial sectors, uncertainity looms over the future of biomass in Spain, but with the certainty of being faced with a unique opportunity to overcome the barriers it has historically come up against. If companies are able to continue to hold on and take advantage of the recovery funds, biomass should now lead the change in the national energy scenario. At CARTIF we understand that this future must inevitably involve technological innovation, through energy transformation processes that are increasingly more efficient, cheaper and more environmentally sustainable.

COP27: why decisions on climate change made at this summit affect you?

COP27: why decisions on climate change made at this summit affect you?

From November 6 to 20, the 27th Conference of the Parties took place in Sharm el Sheikh, where state leaders met in search of agreements against climate change and the definition of an action plan to deal with the challenges current. In this blog we reveal the conclusions about this conference and why this topic should interest you.

Climate change…I´ve heard about it, but why should I care?

When we talk about climate change, a large part of the population relates it solely to the increase in temperature. And yes, they are right, the severity of climate change is evaluated through the increase in temperature, but it is the consequences derived from this increase in temperature that should concern us, as well as its causes, in order to combat it. Listed below some relationships that seem somewhat contradictory:

Cyclical changes in the climate have always existed, this is one more: yes and no. For 100 thousand years there have been very considerable climatic changes and in a cyclical way. However, with the arrival of the Holocene, 10,000 years ago, the temperature on Earth stabilized, only varying its average temperature within a range of one degree Celsius. This facilitated the development of a stable and predictable planet. It is, in fact, the only period in which we can ensure that the development of human life can take place. However, human activities and the consequent increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have made us leave the Holocene, entering the Anthropocene, an unprecedented situation, as can be seen in the graph below.

This time is characterized by an exponential increase in temperatures, as you can see in the graph below, extracted from documentation of the Intergovernmental Panel against Climate Change (IPCC).

Valérie Masson-Delmotte et al., “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis,”

The temperature rises, but it is colder in winter: the entry into the Anthropocene and the rise in temperatures have meant that we are at risk of completely destabilizing the Earth’s atmospheric processes and breaking their balance. It is precisely this imbalance that causes more extremes in temperatures, both in winter and summer. The graph shows the frequency of extreme events that would exist depending on potential future temperature increases.

It rains more, but there are more droughts: an increase in the Earth’s temperature also affects the temperature of the oceans. Since warm water occupies more, this carries a risk for all coastal areas that could be affected by the rise in sea level, and also has an impact on the progressive melting of the poles (whose decrease in surface area also reduces the capacity of the Earth to reflect solar radiation). However, what is not so immediate is the alteration of the water cycle: as there is more water vapor in the environment, more intense storms are produced. This can lead to heavy and frequent flooding, as well as the occurrence of hurricanes. In fact, events like Hurricane Sandy in 2012 are estimated to occur annually starting in 21001. But what about droughts? When there is an increase in temperature, a greater amount of water evaporates from the soil (again contributing to the destabilization of the water cycle). When it returns in the form of intense rains to the ground, the ground is not capable of absorbing this amount of water at this speed, which contributes to floods derived from these intense precipitations. In addition, due to other types of processes, the absorption capacity and quality of the soil is currently reduced This has several consequences, such as the lack of food security. To learn more about this topic, I recommend this documentary: “Kiss the Ground”.

Therefore, the problem of climate change is not only the increase in temperature, but also all the consequences derived from it and the imbalance that it implies in the ecosystemic services the Earth provides. For all these reasons, the temperature limit is set at 1.5ºC, which is what allows it to operate in a safe environment. However, it seems easy to overstep it.

And what has been decided at COP27? Are the agreements that have been made enough?

Currently, we are not doing enough reduce GHG emissions and stay within the limit of 1.5ºC of temperature increase. Although there are different opinions about the results of COP27, a fairly general feeling is that, although the 1.5ºC target set in the Paris Agreement and renewed at COP26 in Glasgow has been maintained, much more needs to be done. In particular, the countries that emit the most have not committed to eliminate fossil fuels, nor to establish new agreements to contribute to the mitigation of climate change2.

However, a positive point of COP27 is its support for the most vulnerable countries, focusing the discourse on climate justice. Indeed, the harshest consequences of climate change end up being suffered by those countries that contribute the least to it and are more vulnerable. In fact, according to the 2018 Lancet Countdown Report, it is estimated that there could be one billion climate migrants.

Every tenth of a degree counts. The consequences of not acting and even temporarily exceeding this limit of 1.5ºC can lead to severe risks, some of which may be irreversible, according to the latest IPCC report. Globally and in a coordinated way, we have to adapt to these new circumstances, but also mitigate the future consequences of climate change. However, these mitigation and adaptation actions can only be applied at the local level. To give you some ideas of what can be done, I recommend a project we are working on at CARTIF, as well as provide additional references.

How does CARTIF contribute to the fight against climate change?

At CARTIF, especially from the Energy and Climate Policies area, we work on the development of models (at different scales), tools and solutions to analyze climate change and propose adaptation and mitigation solutions. In particular, in the RethinkAction project (GA 101037104) coordinated by CARTIF, we will develop an integrated evaluation platform to simulate and evaluate adaptation and mitigation solutions based on land uses. This analysis will be carried out both at a local, European and global level, as well as over time, which will allow both the general public and those in charge of making decisions to better understand the impact of its application. To do this, we will develop system dynamics models that we will apply both in the 6 case studies (representative examples of the impacts of climate change), and at a European and global level, and we will rely on georeferenced satellite information.

If you want more information…

I propose the consultation of three sources.

1. First of all, the most relevant documentation is that generated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where reports are periodically generated to assess the climate change situation, focusing on various areas. In particular in the latest report they focus on the impacts of climate change, adaptation and vulnerability.

2. Secondly, I suggest the simulator of the EN-ROADS tool, developed by CLIMATE INTERACTIVE and MIT to analyse future scenarios and the consequences on temperature depending on the policies applied in various fields such as energy, transport, etc. .

3. Finally, it is worth highlighting the work of the Stockholm Resilience Center and the research orchestrated by Johan Rockström. These experts have analysed certain limits (planetary limits) in a series of areas that should be respected (see image below). They are points of no return where, once passed, we could not go back and they would cause the functioning of the earth to get out of control. As can be seen, many of them are related to climate change, but also to the pollution we generate, the use of water, etc.


In addition to being able to consult the scientific articles where this theory is exposed (here I leave an article), I recommend viewing the documentary that they have made about it, called “Breaking boundaries: The Science of Our Planet”. According to the documentary, the main message is hopeful: we still have time. It also highlights four main lines of action:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero
  2. Protect all those terrestrial elements that contribute to absorbing our impacts (wetlands, soils, forests and oceans)
  3. Change our diets and the way we produce food
  4. Move towards a circular economy.

While many decisions should be made at a higher policy level, how can you use your voice, your vote, and your choices to contribute to this fight?

Your world depends on it.

1 Georgina Gustin, “U.S. Coastal Cities Will Flood More Often and More Severely, Study Warns,” Inside Climate News, June 7, 2017.

2 Statement by President von der Leyen on the outcome of COP27