To address the climate crisis, a timely phase-out of coal power, the single biggest source of global greenhouse gas emissions, is imperative. However, closing coal mines and plants poses economic, and social challenges to the people employed there, their communities, and the economies of the regions in which they live. Helping coal regions develop high-quality, secure employment alternatives will be critical not only for realizing a 'just transition' to a low-carbon economy for these regions, but also for accelerating global progress on climate change.
The Future of Coal Regions Study Group, co-sponsored by the Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Wiener Center's Reimagining the Economy Project, is designed for Harvard students to learn and share knowledge about the challenges facing coal-producing regions, to identify opportunities for overcoming these challenges, and to foster connections and collaborations between students, faculty, and affiliates. The study group will focus on coal-producing regions around the world, but the discussion is expected to generate insights applicable to other fossil-fuel-producing regions.
Study Group Conveners: Gordon Hanson, Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy; Henry Lee, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Director of the Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP); Yingxia Yang, MC/MPA Candidate; Lynn Padgett, MC/MPA Candidate; Keita Matsumoto, MPP Candidate; Weila Gong, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ENRP