With Europe’s energy strategy being one of electrification and clean energy, what impact will that have in Europe and how can the downside be managed? While the EU remains at the forefront of progressive climate policies, many of the arguments against increasing ambition focus on the impact this could have on employment in areas like Silesia in Poland, and the Ruhr in Germany. The key is to phase out coal in such a way that it doesn’t have a negative impact on workers. Certainly, the failure by the UK to manage the fall-out of the destruction of its mining industry is an object lesson in the consequences of a failure to manage social change effectively. There are many ways in which the concept of a ‘just transition’ can be defined. It’s related to climate justice, the idea that climate change is more than an environmental challenge, that’s it’s both a political and ethical issue. On the global stage, this can mean enabling developing economies to continue to use fossil fuels to support economic growth, giving them the same opportunities enjoyed by the developed world in the past. What it boils down to is an attempt to ensure that the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future does not result in undue hardship to those it affects.
Energy Voice 24th June 2019 read more »