PREPARING FOR CHANGE
Nationwide, coal mines and plants are shutting down as they become increasingly uneconomical to operate and more investment goes toward developing clean and sustainable energy sources.
While these shifts come with uncertainty, local leaders throughout the country are joining with businesses, workers and workforce training programs, nonprofits, and other stakeholders in their communities to take control and move policies to safeguard and strengthen the local economy.
Together, they are creating a movement to secure a just transition.
SUPPORTING PEOPLE AND THE PLANET
A climate-related executive order issued in the early days of the Biden Administration indicates the transition away from coal will continue to accelerate, but also offers support to those most impacted by these changes.
The measure creates an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization that is tasked with working with impacted communities to identify and pursue strategies to promote economic and social recovery and ensure benefits and protections for coal and power plant workers.
Additionally, the measure requires the U.S. government to spend 40 percent of its sustainability investments on disadvantaged communities. This major shift in the energy sector, combined with the political will to ensure these changes are not only good for the environment, but also for local economies, presents state and local leaders with resources to help shape their own economic future.
A variety of policies are designed to help states and communities address the impacts of coal plant and mine closures while maintaining a just and strong economy. From state-based funds that provide crucial funding for transition efforts to federal measures that support workforce and economic development projects, these policies can help shore up business development, job training, environmental stewardship, reclamation efforts, public financing, education, and employment practices.
Just Transition Fund works at both the community and the national level to connect community groups to federal policymakers and ensure state and federal policies are informed by the people they aim to support.
NAVIGATING POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
This section of the Just Transition Fund’s Blueprint for Transition offers an overview of policies that state and local lawmakers and transition advocates can adapt to address local needs and opportunities as they transition away from coal to more diversified economies.
This is a rapidly moving landscape.
In addition to the policies highlighted here, check out Just Transition Fund’s Federal Policy Tracker for a quick update on the status of a variety of pending policies that, when enacted, will support a more just transition. Be sure to sign up to receive policy updates and contact us here to share your ideas for shaping policies that ensure a just transition.