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What is "Just Transition"?

Assessing vulnerability from coal dependence and need for a just transition

This paper identifies the linkages that surround the Indian coal economy as well as the possible economic, societal, and cultural repercussions of a coal phaseout in the major coal mining states.


This paper—the first of a two-part release from The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)—lays out the socioeconomic and environmental contexts of the coal economy in India. The authors highlight the detrimental impacts that the phaseout is likely to have on: the livelihoods and social surplus across coal-dependent states; the coal royalties that make up a significant portion of the no-tax revenue for a state; the stoppage of social empowerment initiatives and infrastructural losses; along with the unintended losses of the financial and social structures functioning within the gray market of the coal mining industry.

The authors also draw out the disproportionate impact on women and the vulnerable within these communities expected from the phaseout. The authors contend that in a mixed economy like India, a just transition takes utmost precedence, because it not only aims to formalize the deeply informal coal sector, but also seeks to achieve the critical characteristics needed to fulfill the notion of an “energy democracy”. The paper also discusses how the existing regulatory framework cannot comprehensively handle the complex interlinkages that exist within the subsector of the informal mining segment, part of which is both licensed and illegal and part of which is artisanal in nature.

A Just Green Recovery from COVID-19

This paper highlights how the Covid-19 recovery window offers a rare opportunity for accelerating the green transition and examines recovery measures through the lens of a just transition.


This paper highlights how the Covid-19 recovery window offers a rare opportunity for transforming economies and accelerating the green transition. There is renewed openness to large-scale public investments, as governments seek to restore their economic health, boost long-term growth potential, and accelerate decarbonization. But the inequality, exposed by the Covid-19 crisis, also demonstrates the need for policies that can advance equity and justice.

The paper examines green recovery measures through the lens of a just transition. The authors use three key dimensions of a just transition—distributional impacts, social inclusion, and transformative intent—to assess green recovery interventions around the world. They highlight promising examples of just and green recovery measures in various countries and suggest policy insights, with principles and best practices for future action.