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      How do past global experiences of coal phase-out inform China’s domestic approach to a just transition?


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          China produces nearly half of the world’s coal and more than half of the global coal-fired electricity. Its CO 2 emissions are higher than the combined volumes of the next three world regions—the US, Europe, and India. China has announced a net-zero commitment by 2060. This timeline creates enormous pressure to maintain energy security while phasing down coal use. Despite the localized nature of China’s coal production with nearly 80% of its thermal coal industry concentrated in four provinces, the dependencies are complex and extensive. Large-scale changes to energy systems will result in a range of social, cultural, and economic disruptions across China’s urban, rural, and remote regions. This paper examines experiences with coal transitions in other jurisdictions and considers implications for China. We examine the drivers, successes, and failures of coal phase-down in Germany, Poland, Australia, the UK, and the US. Despite significant differences in scale and complexity, these experiences offer important insights for China as it works to meet its climate commitments.

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          The justice and equity implications of the clean energy transition

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            Assessing China’s efforts to pursue the 1.5°C warming limit

            Given the increasing interest in keeping global warming below 1.5°C, a key question is what this would mean for China’s emission pathway, energy restructuring, and decarbonization. By conducting a multimodel study, we find that the 1.5°C-consistent goal would require China to reduce its carbon emissions and energy consumption by more than 90 and 39%, respectively, compared with the “no policy” case. Negative emission technologies play an important role in achieving near-zero emissions, with captured carbon accounting on average for 20% of the total reductions in 2050. Our multimodel comparisons reveal large differences in necessary emission reductions across sectors, whereas what is consistent is that the power sector is required to achieve full decarbonization by 2050. The cross-model averages indicate that China’s accumulated policy costs may amount to 2.8 to 5.7% of its gross domestic product by 2050, given the 1.5°C warming limit.
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              Energy justice in the transition to low carbon energy systems: Exploring key themes in interdisciplinary research


                Author and article information

                Sustain Sci
                Sustain Sci
                Sustainability Science
                Springer Japan (Tokyo )
                12 April 2023
                12 April 2023
                : 1-18
                [1 ]GRID grid.1003.2, ISNI 0000 0000 9320 7537, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, , The University of Queensland, ; Brisbane, Australia
                [2 ]GRID grid.257065.3, ISNI 0000 0004 1760 3465, National Research Centre for Resettlement (NRCR) and Asian Research Centre, , Hohai University, ; Nanjing, China
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2023

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 26 July 2022
                : 22 February 2023
                Funded by: The University of Queensland
                Special Feature: Review Article

                china,just transitions,coal phase-out,energy transition
                china, just transitions, coal phase-out, energy transition


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