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Germany’s Lessons for the U.S. Coal Transition
Despite challenges of its own, the country’s approach to phasing out coal is a useful guide to how the United States can ensure a just transition for workers and communities.
A country long committed to coal acknowledges the responsible way forward
Just-transition themes are taking root in South Africa: “We cannot just leave them in the lurch, leaving ghost towns and communities behind as festering political, social and economic wounds.”
EU to deploy online platform to distribute billions in transition dollars
Designed for “tailor-made support to regions that will be most affected,” the Just Transition Mechanism is being built with localities in mind and with $50 billion in reinvestment awaiting deployment.
Europe is looking out for coalfield workers; the U.S. isn’t
U.S. coal-industry employees are not being taken care of as well as their counterparts in Germany and Spain, where federal programs are assuring a far more just and equitable transition.
German commission pushes $4.5 billion plan for coalfield transition
Germany’s “coal exit commission” is advancing a €40 billion government plan to compensate workers and companies affected by the country’s abandonment of coal-fired electricity over the next several years.
German coal country has become a vacation lake destination
The former coal-mining region of Lusatia is turning into a tourist attraction: “Almost 37,000 acres of land ravaged by mining will eventually become Europe's biggest water playground.”
Report: ‘We need to prepare’
Researchers in Australia, where a power-generation shift is unfolding similar to the one happening in the U.S., stress the importance of putting “measures in place to ease the transition.”
Global financiers’ reluctance means declining access to capital for coal industry
A new report details how over a hundred major financial firms around the world are distancing themselves from coal holdings, making it harder for the industry to get access to capital.
Germany’s transition: ‘Responsibility for society as a whole’
Angela Merkel’s government has endorsed a “coal exit commission” plan to accelerate a transition from coal-fired generation in a way that protects workers and shows “responsibility for society as a whole.”
German mining-state governors push for post-coal job programs
Governors of German coal-producing states are lobbying a federal commission for policies that would create thousands of new jobs to replace those lost in a national shift from coal.
As transition proceeds in Germany, an emphasis on coal-miner protections
Germany’s environment minister says the government is committed to ensuring that coal workers are given new job opportunities in the fast-changing energy economy.
Government, industry, unions strike deal to protect workers in Spanish transition from coal
The Spanish government, coal companies, and unions have reached a deal that includes $285 million for early retirement funds for miners over 48, and job retraining and support for younger miners. “Losing mines does not have to mean a loss of work. Done thoughtfully, it could present an opportunity for new economic growth.”
International Energy Agency Sees Coal Demand Stagnating
In its annual review of the global coal trade, the IEA sees demand remaining flat for at least the next five years. The trend stands to damp export business for U.S. coal producers: “Coal’s share in the global energy mix is forecast to decline to 26 percent in 2022, compared to 27 percent in 2016, the report said.”