Enabling a Rapid and Just Transition away from Coal in China

TitleEnabling a Rapid and Just Transition away from Coal in China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsGang He, Jiang Lin, Ying Zhang, Wenhua Zhang, Guilherme Larangeira, Chao Zhang, Wei Peng, Manzhi Liu, Fuqiang Yang
JournalOne Earth
Volume3
Issue2
Pagination187 - 194
Date PublishedJan-08-2020
ISSN25903322
Abstract

As the world’s largest coal producer and consumer, China’s transition from coal to cleaner energy sources is critical for achieving global decarbonization. Increasing regulations on air pollution and carbon emissions and decreasing costs of renewables drive China’s transition away from coal; however, this transition also has implications for employment and social justice. Here, we assess China’s current coal-transition policies, their barriers, and the potential for an accelerated transition, as well as the associated environmental, human health, and employment and social justice issues that may arise from the transition. We estimate that the most aggressive coal-transition pathway could reduce annual premature death related to coal combustion by 224,000 and reduce annual water consumption by 4.3 billion m3 in 2050 compared with business-as-usual. We highlight knowledge gaps and conclude with policy recommendations for an integrated approach to facilitate a rapid and just transition away from coal in China.

DOI10.1016/j.oneear.2020.07.012
Short TitleOne Earth