The article uses spatial analysis to explore the potential of renewable energy jobs directly replacing local jobs lost in the coal sector, with a focus on four major coal-producing countries, namely China, India, Australia, and the United States.
With a focus on China, India, the United States, and Australia, the article uses spatial analysis to identify the local solar and wind capacities required for each coal mining area to enable all coal miners to transition to solar/wind jobs. It also assesses the resource availability in these areas and the scale of the deployment of renewables needed to transition coal miners in areas suitable for solar/wind power. The article suggests that the potential to create local jobs is crucial to a just and effective transition. Unlike other professional workers who migrate to find new jobs when they are laid off, most coal miners become “inactive” when they lose their jobs because of their strong connections to their communities, age, or skills.
The article finds that, with the exception of the U.S., several gigawatts (GWs) of solar or wind capacity would be required for each coal mining area to transition all coal miners to solar/wind jobs. In all four countries, only a small percent of coal mining areas have suitable wind resources. Furthermore, these countries would have to scale up their current solar capacities significantly to be able to transition coal miners working in areas suitable for solar development. The report highlights the need for a localized understanding of labor impacts and shows how spatial methodology can be used to conduct similar assessments.
Report/Case Study; Guidelines, Strategies and Recommendations
Government intervention > Public finance, Regulation
Inequality and/or poverty > Other
Investment > Private finance
Marion Davis, Shagun Mehrotra, Aarathi Kumar, Alfredo Redondo, Anna Kustar, Britta Rennkamp, Christopher Gillespie, Daizong Liu, Freya Stanley-Price, Gorka Zubicaray, Hendricus Andy Simarmata, Jessica Hanlon, Leah Lazer, Madhav Pai, Nick Godfrey, Pablo Lazo Elizondo, Pandora Batra, Retno Wihanesta, Robin King, Shiyong Qiu, Sophia Vitello, Tanya Jiménez
The authors discuss how national governments can harness cities to bring about a sustainable and inclusive post-pandemic economic recovery while achieving climate goals. They focus on six emerging economies to demonstrate how fostering zero-carbon, resilient, and inclusive cities can advance national economic priorities for shared prosperity.
Referencing case studies from China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa, the authors explore three themes: 1) the need for a low-carbon urban transformation and its associated socio-economic benefits; 2) the importance of both resilience and decarbonization; and 3) the availability of resources to foster low-carbon, resilient, and inclusive cities. To inspire countries ahead of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), they analyze how cities can help national governments not only achieve their climate goals and shared prosperity, but also accelerate the Covid-19 recovery by making them more connected, inclusive, and clean.
The authors conclude with a global call to action, urging national governments to develop climate and sustainable development strategies centered around cities. While governments are essential to implementing transformative policies, the authors urge national leadership to partner with the private sector and local climate-action groups to finance sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure.
Report/Definitions and Concepts; Policy Tools or Evaluations
This report suggests eight principles for measuring justice dimensions of energy transition processes in developing countries and applies this rubric to twelve countries in the Global South.
Global, China, Costa Rica, Fiji, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania, Vietnam
Economic diversification/restructuring > Economic development plans
Employment > Job creation and/or equality, Skills, Social protections
Environment and/or pollution > Nature
Government intervention > Carbon pricing, Regulation
Inequality and/or poverty > Gender inequality, Other
Investment > Competitiveness
Social and/or cultural impacts > Other
justice to nature
common but differentiated responsibilities
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
Thomas Hirsch, Manuela Matthess, Joachim Fünfgelt
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World)
Non-profit organization/civil society organization
This report discusses the various stakeholder narratives of “just energy transitions” and their claims to justice. The authors promote transformative alliances among these stakeholders to align their sustainable development strategies. They offer a set of eight principles to encourage and assess justice dimensions of energy transition processes in developing countries.
Using the proposed principles and their respective indicators, the authors evaluate twelve countries: China, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Vietnam, Fiji, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico. These countries were identified based on justice terminology within their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. Performance among these countries was generally strongest in terms of their ambitious targets regarding climate and the alignment of their NDCs with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These countries generally scored lower with respect to the socioeconomic dimension—such as ensuring or fostering “decent work and resilience,” “social equity,” and “gender equality”—and even lower in regard to the political dimension.
The paper concludes that countries claiming to be pioneers of just energy transitions do not necessarily perform better in terms of the social and political dimension, nor do those who claim to be pioneers regarding justice necessarily lead when it comes to climate ambition. The authors offer recommendations specific to each of the twelve countries and conclude with broadly applicable policy recommendations to better apply justice to energy transitions.