Download all Coal Transitions Project reports
Upcoming Coal Transition Reports:
June 2018: Country reports on feasible pathways for a just coal transition for case study countries (Australia, China, Germany, India, Poland, and South Africa).
Past Coal Transitions Publications:
I. TRANSITION POLICY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION: WHO, WHAT, WHY AND HOW
In the face of this increasing demand for “transition policy”, policymakers require expert guidance on how to develop coherent and desirable transition policy packages. Yet there is a dearth of policy-focused academic literature on this topic.
This paper aims to provide a foundation for filling this gap. It first provides a definition of transition policy, identifying its key parameters. It then explores possible values of these parameters, resulting in an original map of the “logical space” of transition policy: the possible combinations of policy objectives, policy scope, and target actors that transition policy could encompass. To move from the possible to the desirable, the paper finally suggests three criteria for normatively
evaluating transition policies: fairness; political transformation potential; and expected effectiveness.
2018 Transition Policy Report – Download
II. COAL TAXES AS SUPPLY – SIDE CLIMATE POLICY: A RATIONALE FOR MAJOR EXPORTERS?
This paper focuses on coal taxes, investigating both the incentives for implementation and the impacts of withholding supply. Specifically, it considers hypothetical taxes on the export or production of steam coal that are levied by Australia, the world’s second largest steam coal exporter, or alternatively by a coalition of major exporters. It reflects on the effects of coal taxes on CO2 emissions from steam coal, tax revenues, and shifts in the global patterns of consumption, production, and trade of steam coal
2017 Raise Climate Ambition Report [PDF – 891 KB] Download
III. STRENGTHENING NATIONAL COAL TRANSITIONS TO RAISE CLIMATE AMBITION
Multiple environmental, economic and political drivers have caused the coal transitions issue to become a key climate policy discussion topic, leading to a call for an assurance of “just transition”. Thus, this paper discusses the need for governments to raise their overall ambitions and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) towards coal transitions and reflects on how they should do it so that it is just for all stakeholders—especially coal sector workers and their communities—whose economic livelihoods depend on the future of an industry that will be in decline.
2017 Raise Climate Ambition Report [PDF – 891 KB] Download
IV. TRANSITIONING BEYOND COAL: LESSONS FROM THE STRUCTURAL RENEWAL OF EUROPE’S OLD INDUSTRIAL REGIONS
It is often assumed that a transition to a low-carbon future will have highly disruptive and potentially devastating effects on coal regions and their communities. However, evidence from the experience of industrial decline and attempted renewal in Europe’s old industrial regions demonstrates that successful regional transition is—while not inevitable—indeed possible. Drawing on the literature of regional resilience and innovation, the paper offers lessons, insights and cautionary warnings from the experience of renewal initiatives in Europe’s old industrial regions and illustrates the ways in which some of the seeds for a ‘just’ regional transitions to zero-carbon economies may, in fact, lie in a careful understanding of the potential to build on the specific historical context of the regions industrial development and capabilities.
2017 Industrial Transitions [PDF – 998 KB] Download
V. PROSPECTS FOR A “JUST TRANSITION” AWAY FROM COAL-FIRED POWER GENERATION IN AUSTRALIA
Learning from the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station
This recent “case study has demonstrated that the positions of key civil society stakeholders in Australia’s energy debate, including unions, environment groups and to some extent business groups have been converging toward a “just”—or at least an orderly—transition as a dominant political narrative for substantive policies to improve the transition arrangements in the Australian energy sector. Strengthening and perhaps formalising these alliances will improve the incentives for political parties to invest in long-term policies in the energy sector.”
2017 Hazelwood Power Station [PDF – 998 KB] Download
VI. COAL TRANSITIONS IN CHINA’S POWER SECTOR: A PLANT-LEVEL ASSESSMENT OF STRANDED ASSETS AND RETIREMENT PATHWAYS
This paper addresses the following questions:
- Under plausible scenarios for the development of the demand/supply balance, load factors, and generation margins, what is the profitability of Chinese coal-fired power plants and the scale of potential asset stranding?
- What policies could be deployed to limit the political economy frictions of power sector transition in China?
- What would be the potential economic retirement schedule of Chinese coal-fired power plants, given the modelled investment costs, load factors, and margins? Put more simply, how quickly could China get out of coal power?
2017 Coal Transitions in China [PDF – 713 KB] Download
VII. LESSONS FROM PREVIOUS COAL TRANSITIONS
The stabilisation of the climate system in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change is impossible without the timely phase out of unabated coal from the global energy system. As is increasingly recognised, this transition must also be “just” for workers and local communities. The Coal Transitions report inform the future of coal producing regions, highlighting key lessons from previous coal transitions, in the Netherlands, UK, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain and the US
2017 Synthesis Report [PDF – 990 KB] Download
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
Czech Republic [PDF – 1,131 KB] Download
Spain [PDF – 1,276 KB] Download
Poland [PDF – 1,276 KB] Download
The Netherlands [PDF – 927 KB] Download
The United Kingdom [PDF – 842 KB] Download
The United States [PDF – 990 KB] Download
Download the most important messages of the project.
SPECIAL Report – The 1.5°C target and coal sector transition: at the limits of societal feasibility