Distributional labour challenges and opportunities for decarbonizing the US power system

Xie, J.J., Martin, M., Rogelj, J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2056-9061, & Staffell, I. (2023). Distributional labour challenges and opportunities for decarbonizing the US power system. Nature Climate Change 10.1038/s41558-023-01802-5.

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The transition towards a low-carbon power system presents challenges and opportunities for the workforce with important implications for just transitions. Studies of these distributional labour impacts could benefit from tighter linkages between energy and employment modelling. Here, we couple a power-sector optimization model, an employment impact model and demographic databases to understand state-level job characteristics and the societal implications of low-carbon transitions in the US. Although decarbonization brings consistent job growth, it heightens the need for investment in human capital and supply chain restructuring. Major fossil fuel-producing states need to prepare for fewer mining jobs under the US Long-Term Strategy, so other opportunities should be created or seized. The lowest-skilled workers will experience more uncertain employment outcomes. Expanding renewable energy could improve opportunities for women in fossil fuel-dependent states, but not enough to disrupt the national gender status quo. This work provides a new quantitative perspective to inform proactive just transition policies.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2023 08:09
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2023 08:09
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19160

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