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What is "Just Transition"?

Coal Community Sourcebook: Local Experts, Issues & Ideas from Local Voices

This resource provides information and resources on community-led efforts in coal-impacted communities in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wyoming, including a list of local organizations with innovative approaches and ideas.


This report is the outcome of community listening sessions held by research organizations in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Wyoming to compile data and mainstream important issues and challenges pertaining to coal-impacted communities. It summarizes local communities’ work on these issues and provides an appendix of local organizations for policymakers’ consideration. It concludes by highlighting federal programs and actions that these communities have identified as crucial.

The report examines the socioeconomic impact of the coal decline on local communities across the United States and criticizes the lack of federal support to remedy those effects. It identifies key areas—such as local water and road infrastructure, healthcare, education, social safety nets, and local small businesses—that need federal funding to boost the local economy. More importantly, it calls for communities’ involvement in designing and implementing policy to ensure their knowledge and creativity are taken into consideration.

The report further describes key federal programs and actions that can be readjusted to provide resources and technical support to frontline communities. These include miners’ pension and health benefits, the Abandoned Mine Funds (AML), the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Small Business Administration, which provide grants to local small businesses. The report includes an appendix containing contact information for local organizations and individual leaders who can serve as resources to policymakers.

Social Innovation and the Energy Transition

This academic paper explores the meaning of social innovation and how it manifests in the context of energy transitions.


The uptick in technological innovation requires new ways of organizing and governing energy supply and systems. This paper seeks to describe social innovation and its implications for energy transitions by analyzing it from the perspectives of behavioral science, social science, and governance. The authors posit that, within the context of an energy transition, social innovations include those that contribute to low-carbon energy transitions, civic empowerment, and social goals pertaining to the general well-being of communities.

The authors then explore common themes that emerged from the 20 article contributions they received for this study. These themes touch on a wide range of topics, including the relationship between technological and social innovation, community-based energy systems, participatory research approaches, how to stimulate behavior patterns, and even energy games. The authors conclude by suggesting areas of future research related to these themes.