Journal article

The 1.5 degrees C target and coal sector transition: at the limits of societal feasibility

Thomas Spencer, Michel Colombier, Oliver Sartor, Amit Garg, Vineet Tiwari, Jesse Burton, Tara Caetano, Fergus Green, Fei Teng, John Wiseman



National and global mitigation scenarios consistent with 1.5°C require an early phase-out of coal in major coal-dependent countries, compared to standard technical and economic lifetimes. This appears particularly apparent in the light of recent massive investments in coal power capacity, the significant pipeline of coal power capacity coming online, as well as upstream supporting infrastructure. This article analyses the existing and planned capital stock in the coal power sector in the light of scenarios consistent with 1.5°C. The article analyses the political economy and labour aspects of this abrupt and significant transition, in the light of domestic equity and development objectives. ..

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Awarded by French government

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a grant made by the KR Foundation under the grant 'Comprehensive, Whole of Government Strategies on Coal Transition in Major Coal Using Countries'. It also received support from the French government in the framework of the programme 'Investissements d'avenir', managed by ANR (the French National Research Agency) under the reference ANR-10-LABX-01.