September 6, 2018 Read More →

Socially just energy transition for coal workers no pie in the sky, study finds


As the UN’s climate chief called for more “urgency” from negotiators at the ongoing Bangkok climate talks, a new international report found that a socially just transition is already feasible for coal workers and communities, while a global decline in coal production is expected.

The report, published on Wednesday (5 September), identified a large number of specific policy solutions while underlining that there is no universal blueprint for implementing a just transition.

“Many of them have been tried and tested during past coal transitions. The design of such programmes matters greatly to their effectiveness, as does the meaningful consultation and participation of stakeholders early on in the decision-making process,” the report reads.

But the authors warned that early anticipation and preparation of the transition is vital to achieving the best results, with tailored workforce transition programmes and the building of local economic resilience requiring time, preparation and learning by doing.

Adding fuel to the argumentation, a report also published on Wednesday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) argues that the French multinational energy company Engie would be better off closing its three coal-fired plants in Germany than selling them.

The planned phase-out of state aid to fossil fuel power generation across the European Union could make the Ostrołęka C coal station project unprofitable within years, according to a new report by Carbon Tracker, a think tank.

Gerard Wynn, an IEEFA energy finance consultant who co-authored the report with Paolo Coghe, president of Paris-based think tank Acousmatics, sees Engie best protecting its position in the German electricity generation market by closing the plants and replacing them with other forms of generation that include renewables.

“Such a move would also be in line with the company’s commitment to a low-carbon energy transition. And closure of the plants would serve as a signal that Engie is “part of the solution” to a coal power phaseout being pursued as a matter of public policy in Germany, rather than creating a problem by selling to distressed asset buyers determined to keep them open,” they insisted.

Socially just energy transition for coal workers no pie in the sky, study finds

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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