Hamilton, C., Song, J., Cui, R., Olson, C., & Cui, D. (2022). Evaluating provincial-level employment challenge during the coal transition in China. Advances in Climate Change Research, 13(5), 729-737.
Abstract: As China works to move away from coal in its energy system as a critical strategy to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, there are several challenges which will affect the coal transition. One challenge that has not been fully explored is the impact on coal employment. There are millions of people employed in various sectors along the coal supply chain, including mining, processing, transport, and power generation. In this study, we developed a framework to understand the magnitude and characteristics of the employment challenges associated with the coal transition across provinces. Specifically, the magnitude and characteristics of the challenges are evaluated from multiple dimensions, including existing coal sector employment, coal production, coal consumption, GDP contribution from the coal industry, and coal mining productivity, to explore how the transition of the coal industry will likely affect different provinces. The results showed that provinces with large total coal employment today are often those with high coal production and consumption, high GDP contribution from the coal industry, and low productivity of coal mining. We found that employment impacts of a coal transition will not be equally distributed in China, as both the magnitude and characteristics of the employment challenges vary substantially across all provinces. It is therefore important to develop a tailored strategy to tackle specific needs for each province.