Reducing US coal emissions can boost employment

Patrizio, P., Leduc, S., Kraxner, F., Fuß, S., Kindermann, G. ORCID:, Mesfun, S. ORCID:, Spokas, K., Mendoza Ponce, A. ORCID:, et al. (2018). Reducing US coal emissions can boost employment. Joule 2 (12) 2633-2648. 10.1016/j.joule.2018.10.004.

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Concerns have been voiced that implementing climate change mitigation measures could come at the cost of employment, especially in the context of the US coal sector. However, repurposing US coal plants presents an opportunity to address emission mitigation and job creation, if the right technology change is adopted. In this study, the transformation of the US coal sector until 2050 is modeled to achieve ambitious climate targets. Results show that the cost-optimal strategy for meeting 2050 emission reductions consistent with 2°C stabilization pathways is through the early deployment of BECCS and by replacing 50% of aging coal plants with natural gas plants. This strategy addresses the concerns surrounding employment for coal workers by retaining 40,000 jobs, and creating 22,000 additional jobs by mid-century. Climate change mitigation does not have to come at the cost of employment, and policymakers could seek to take advantage of the social co-benefits of mitigation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: BECCS; RCP pathways; US coal workers; energy sector employment; USA; coal sector; natural gas; negative emissions; job creation; coal workers; forest management; RCP2.6; coal phase out
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2018 08:10
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:30

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