EAERE 2021
Organised online
23 Jun - 25 Jun 2021
26th Annual Conference
of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Pre-conference Workshop: Beyond Coal - Designing Coal Phase-outs Across the Globe

June 21-22, 2021

Local Organizers: Pao-Yu Oei (EUF, TU Berlin), Jan Steckel (MCC Berlin)

Additional Organizers: Michael Jakob (MCC Berlin), Jan Minx (MCC Berlin), Paola Yanguas Parra (TU Berlin), Elmar Kriegler (PIK)

In Cooperation with the "Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change", funded by BMBF


Background and Aims

How to phase out coal is a major political challenge policy-makers are confronted with. While global models suggest that phasing-out coal until mid of the century is a necessary and cost-effective near term mitigation option, phasing out coal and closing mines often is related to public protests and political difficulties. The anticipated (re)distribution of social and economic prosperity within and between affected countries, regions, sectors, and actors call for coal producing and consuming countries to design socially just and publically acceptable frameworks for upcoming (regional) coal phase-outs.

That said, long standing ties between coal industry and (regional) politics are regularly found to impede necessary policy reforms. In addition, many coal-dependent regions are economically stagnating and some have to deal with  young and well-educated people emigrating. People and businesses feel like they are at the losing end of international climate policies, and fiercely lobby against planned shut-downs. Oftentimes, their resistance is supported by local administrations, energy providers and unions. Against this backdrop, integrated strategies that ameliorate the socio-economic consequences of climate-related structural change and provide viable options for future development are needed. In this context, the pre-EAERE event addresses several broad issues related to the coal phase-out, examining experiences from past transitions as well as future outlooks:

  1. Technological and economic implications and effects on GHG emissions and environmental pollution based on modeling coal phase-out scenarios.
  2. Analysis of transition drivers and barriers as well as the economic, social and environmental outcomes that these phase-outs (and avoided phase-in’s) have on the affected regions with a particular focus on distributional implications.
  3. Combining the first two elements in an analysis of politically and economically viable coal phase-out pathways.

Possible contributions may explore (but are not limited to) the politics of coal phase-outs, including the tensions between global agreements and local implementation, the evolution and dynamics of local and regional conflicts resulting from this tension as well as the role and influence of different actors in the transition process. Equally, we cover work that focusses on countries that are currently developing substantial coal capacity such as Indonesia, Turkey, South Africa and others. We also welcome contributions that investigate the specific policies, legal frameworks, and governance arrangements that have been employed in specific regions to accompany these transition processes, and analyze how they have worked (or not), and how they could be useful to similar cases elsewhere. Among others, we seek to discuss the political possibilities for weighing and balancing conflicting interests at different levels of governance, which roles different stakeholders can or should play in the transition process, and how different regions can learn from each others’ reforms. Overall, we seek to attract contributions that discuss the social and economic consequences of coal phase-outs in different countries and regions across the globe, and offer insights into how to deal with these regions in the future.

Last update on March 8, 2021