Shutting down the coal industry is vital for fighting climate change. The fuel source that has been an essential part of life for well over a century just isn’t a sustainable option for a variety or reasons. But shutting down the mines and plants leaves people and their communities in the cold. Germany is a masterclass in powering down the coal industry without leaving anyone behind.
Germany shut down their black coal industry when mining became unsustainable and has pledged to shut down their brown coal mines by 2038 to meet the Paris Climate Accord. The answer to doing this without leaving a slew on unemployed people is government innervation and massive infrastructure.
The country placed all mines under one body then slowly closed them down. Workers who wanted to stay with coal were moved to new mines. Others were retrained in new fields or given bonuses for early retirement. Transportation and education networks were built around former coal communities so they wouldn’t be left behind. Other countries could take a lesson from Germany’s work.