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Almost 1 million jobs will be lost in the coal mining sector globally by 2050 even without pledges or policies to phase out coal, as mines close and the energy transition advances, according to Global Energy Monitor (GEM), a non-profit organization advocating for clean energy.
Considering the planned closures in the coal industry, a total of 990,200 coal mine jobs will no longer exist in the world by 2050, with India and China bearing the brunt of layoffs, GEM said in a new report.
By 2035, nearly half a million workers, or 414,200, operate mines that may reach their end of operation before 2035, affecting an average of 100 workers per day, according to the organization.
“We need to put workers first on the agenda if we want to make sure the just transition isn’t just talk,” said Ryan Driskell Tate, Coal Program Director at GEM.
“With technologies and markets primed for an energy transition, we have to be proactive about the unique concerns of coal miners and their communities.”
While long-term prospects for coal jobs are bleak, currently India and China continue to add coal-powered capacity to support power demand growth.
China is building or planning to build some 366 GW in new coal generation capacity, accounting for some 68% of global planned new coal capacity as of 2022.
This is according to a report earlier this year by Global Energy Monitor, which also found that China accounted for more than half of the new global coal generation capacity that came online last year.
During the first half of 2023 alone, China approved more than 50 GW of new coal power, Greenpeace said in a report last month. That’s more than it did in all of 2021, the environmental campaign group added.
In India, coal still generates around 70% of the country’s electricity.
“Despite an aspirational 2070 carbon neutral target, India is still investing heavily in new coal power to support growth, with a pipeline of over 50 GW of projects planned and under construction,” Wood Mackenzie said earlier this month in a report on power demand and investments in the Asia Pacific region.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.