Managing the social consequences of the transition away from coal: the case of job losses in Shanxi Province, China

The low-carbon energy transition will have severe negative socio-economic consequences for some economic regions, sectors, and social groups for many years to come. The social groups most impacted will include those involved in the supply chain for coal, especially in those countries or regions where coal plays a central role in the energy sector and the wider economy. Shanxi Province in north China is one such region.  The aim of this Energy Insight is to examine is to examine the distributive justice aspects of reduced coal mining employment. In other words, the compensation and assistance provided to unemployed miners. Whilst the lessons from China may not be directly relevant to other countries with large coal mining industries, the experience of Shanxi does reveal the scale of financial and administrative resources that will be needed, as well as the challenges involved, in managing distributive justice during the low-carbon energy transition.

By: Philip Andrews-Speed , Yuchao Xu