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Policy Brief: International experience in a just coal workforce transition through fiscal support

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picture of a worker in front of a coal plant

What is the cost of a just employment transition?

New analysis quantifies the cost of worker support policies

Meet the Experts!

Camryn DahlProgram Manager

Claire Squire, Research Assistant 

Ryna Cui, CGS Research Director

C. Dahl, C. Squire, R. Cui. (May 2023). “Policy Brief: International experience in a just coal workforce transition through fiscal support.” Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland, 7 pg.

  • Based on a deep dive into seven countries Poland, Spain, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany with sufficient quantitative data, we found this support has been carried through three categories: rehiring, income compensation, and health payment.
  • Across these countries, we found that rehiring support was the most commonly utilized policy tool, and that total rehiring support per country ranged from a low of $195 million to a high of $784 million.
  • On a per worker basis, income compensation policies are most expensive across countries, as it is typically paid out over multiple years – the average cost of a just transition is over $23,000 per worker for rehiring support, over $253,000 per worker for income compensation policies, and about $13,000 per worker for health support policies.
  • We also found that the majority of just transition compensation packages were provided by the national government. However, despite the need for engagement from national governments, it is still critical that the policies be tailored to local needs. 
  • Effective programs implemented thus far have relied on a wide range of policy solutions to aid workers in the economic transition. Each of the countries that we researched utilized a variety of policies, most including at least one policy from each of the three categories identified. 

New research from the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) calculates the average cost of a just employment transition by reviewing policies to aid impacted coal workers across seven countries. The brief defines and quantifies the cost of the three policy types—rehiring, income compensation, and health support.

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