Effects of the Energy Transition, impacting the Coal Industry. Research shows that the global coal industry may lose nearly 1 million jobs by 2050, even without further pledges on fossil fuel use with China and India facing the biggest losses.
Hundreds of coal mines that employ large workforces are expected to close in the coming decades as they reach the end of their operational lives. Countries will shift from coal to cleaner, low-carbon energy sources.
However, most of the mines that may close do not have any plans in place to extend the life of those operations, or manage the energy transition to a post-coal economy. This is a warning from the Global Energy Monitor (GEM), a think tank from the United States (US).
GEM examines 4,300 active and proposed coal mining projects worldwide involving a total workforce of nearly 2.7 million people. From the research, they found that more than 400,000 workers work in mines that will cease operations before 2035.
If there were a plan to reduce coal use to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, GEM estimates that only around 250,000 mining workers would be needed worldwide, which is less than 10 percent of the current workforce.
Effects of the Energy Transition For the record, according to GEM estimates, China’s coal industry, the largest in the world, currently employs more than 1.5 million people. As many as 1 million global jobs are expected to be lost worldwide by 1050, with more than 240,000 jobs to be lost in Shanxi province alone.
China’s coal sector itself has experienced several waves of restructuring in recent decades. Many mining districts in the north and northeast are struggling to find alternative sources of growth and employment following mine closures.