Recording and presentations: CLIMATE CHANGE COAL challenge: Phasing out from C02-emitting fossil fuels whilst keeping the jobs

12 December 2019

Media Partners:

Automated transcription. (It may contain errors)

Unknown Speaker 0:00
Hello to everybody. Welcome to this webinar on climate change and coal and keeping the coal jobs. We have three activists from the climate movement to talk to us about this topic. Carla Bernard has an MCI and Tom you in a moment, I’ll ask them to say a few words about about themselves. I just want to point out to everybody that we have the chat box, where if you’d like to share who you are and where, where you’re joining from, that would be nice. And we have the q amp a box obviously for a little bit later when you can send in questions which everybody would be really keen to see. And the whole webinar will be recorded. So if you want to watch parts of it later or share with with others, then That makes it that makes it very easy. So let me let me start by asking Carla first to introduce herself.

Unknown Speaker 1:12
So hello everyone so Carla knows I should just by my name I’m very French. I am currently still a student in energy masters in Paris, mostly of economics and psychology background. On the side I’m an energy and loose at the GG which is a French Think Tank based in Paris and currently a trainee at the European Commission DGP map and touch on the Bombay youth activism kind of part is that I was with Heather and Tom and that’s where I met them in Vancouver for the pinions human zoo. And they I could see that not a lot of times, you young people we’re inviting just kind of high level conferences with decision makers. So Right now we’re trying to kind of system systemize it and with other friends that were there as well, trying to set up an organisation to kind of bring people bring young people every time to high comfort high level conference so that they can have a real voice into the decision making process.

Unknown Speaker 2:19
Okay, thank you Carla Heather.

Unknown Speaker 2:22
Hi, everyone. My name is Heather McKay and I am currently the founding project leader at the climate crisis foundation. So I helped set up a foundation, which aims to get people away to effectively participate in climate action by supporting amazing planet organisations, and a broad variety of effective sectors. It’s a really cool project we’re working on so please do check out. And I also am on the side campaign with a bunch of user groups on climate and climate change and collectivism. So I work with the UK use Climate Coalition which is an amazing organisation and I work within the corporate team on specific climate finance drama in the UN f Triple C space, and also a younger member, which is a, again input in the climate finance extreme, which is a way for young people to engage on the international climate policy space and on the issues that they’re passionate about. And coalition with these organisations from across the world. economist mentioned as well I was the UK use representative of the Clean Energy Ministerial this year very lucky to go again and passionately talking about climate finance, I think part partly because I came from a finance background. I think that unless we unlock the funds to support the cadenza action and climate action, and we’ll never get anywhere, so and I think empowering young people to understand the flaws of explosive assets and cash and how we can use that for the climate benefit is something I’m really passionate about. Thanks.

Unknown Speaker 3:53
Thank you, Heather. Tom, would you like to introduce yourself?

Unknown Speaker 3:58
Sure. Thank you, Jonathan. My name is him from Sydney, Australia. I currently work at Tesla and the energy division of the business in the sales and marketing team for the Tesla powerwall to the home battery. In the meantime, I’m also completing my studies at the University of Technology city, Sydney, where I’m studying bachelor communications with a major in public policy. So my interests are really in communicating the issues around climate change and clean energy, and also

Unknown Speaker 4:31
finding the right

Unknown Speaker 4:32
policies things for decolonization. So I have a passion for public policy. On the side, I have a few organisations which I’m affiliated with as well, the most. The thing I’m most excited about is called bright sparks, which we just launched in the last two weeks and it’s essentially a network for young people. We’re clean energy space in Australia, to network to learn skills of each other to world We’re still working on exactly the kind of role we’re going to play. We’re going to basically be a go to place for young people in the media to comment on issues regarding climate change and clean energy. And and we’re growing really quickly. So really excited about the future of young people in the Clean Energy movement.

Unknown Speaker 5:18
Right, thank you, Tom. Let me encourage again, everybody who’s attending the webinar to say something about themselves in the chat box so that we get a sense of who’s, who’s listening who’s watching, and where, where they’re from. And now, let me turn to Carla first to make some remarks and give us a presentation.

Unknown Speaker 5:44
Okay, thank you very much, Jonathan. So just, I’ll just make sure that I can work

Unknown Speaker 5:53
on my sharing, saying share

Unknown Speaker 6:00

Unknown Speaker 6:07
Just Yep.

Unknown Speaker 6:10

Unknown Speaker 6:12
so Yeah, and I think now everybody can see the presentation. So first of all, I would like to kind of introduce subject and what is relevant for today’s discussion about climate change. So because coal phase out can seem as a bit other specificity of the energy sector to deal with maybe even like a technical question that we have to come through, but when we look at what 14 year old the data General of the a year said at the last launch of the water Energy Outlook a few weeks ago, when he says that the 2250 gigawatt of coal fired power plants are the single largest source of global co2 emission, f is not and if nothing is done by 2015 still will be clearly demonstrate that this issue is the face of the coalface is indispensable in order to keep within the Paris Agreement and the two degrees. So, for me, this topic is extremely relevant, especially in the context now where climate change is kind of all over the medium. So, just a few reminder that we decided to structure the dialogue in the form of barriers, so, which are not mutually exclusive is just to structure a be the argument and also provide solution to specific barriers with the five barriers being financial, historical, institutional, technological and political. So, for my part, I’m mostly going to touch upon the technological and the political one through two examples, which are Eastern Europe and China. So, first I’m going to talk about Eastern Europe. So, in Europe in global Europe, To say, mining has been mostly steep and structural decline in during the last 15 years, mostly because of cheap renewables as well as a high carbon price. So according to Carbon Tracker, the free the fleet are already running at a loss of almost 6.6 billion just for this year. She’s been 6 billion of euros because as even though there is this steep decline, profitability and the greater availability of cheaper attentive, many countries, especially in Eastern Europe are still still struggling to phase out of cool. This is kind of the epitome of this as Poland which has still highly dependent on coal with 80% of its power coming from this energy source. So Bloomberg has actually coined this coal curtain name as being the new Iron Curtain because you can play see on this map of the world bank that Mostly Eastern Europe, Germany, part Eastern Europe, countries who are have more heavily dependent on coal. And so looking at those facts, Why is it such a struggle for them to phase out of coal where this mostly when you dig into is mostly political and social bias which are important. In Poland, for example, they are, I think the only one in Europe was still pushing to construct new corporates despite the locals of this region resisting. And you also have to mention that besides those political barriers, you also have social barriers to request traders to reinvent those post coal mining communities because it’s mostly concentrated in region. So most of the jobs comes from this coal from the coal mine so you have to completely reinvent the community.

Unknown Speaker 9:54
And clearly as you can see, the quote that I have on the screen from as I finish school, but from Bulgaria is that there’s also a lack of political support, to have

Unknown Speaker 10:06
to have rescaling programmes, programmes to reconstruct the communities from the government. And so sometimes the even the people even though they want to fail to have a possible community they can’t achieve if you don’t have the fun if you don’t have anything, it’s really hard.

Unknown Speaker 10:23

Unknown Speaker 10:25
how do you overcome those barriers? Well, I won’t say it’s simple, of course, but there’s definitely some things that you can do.

Unknown Speaker 10:33
So I’m just going to give the the number the very significant number that in Europe, coal mining jobs are only represents 0.06% of the European workforce, which is a very low number doesn’t mean is not important. But that means that it’s doable with we have, I hope enough money in Europe to to have this for this cool phase out without a social people. And that is Also because it’s a regional problem in nature, we need highly targeted and local or regional programmes in order to be successful. And so for example, you have the one that I have on the right of my slide, the restart project in Czech Republic where they’re trying to kind of gather whole stakeholders but still a very early stage. On the left, you have the ears of just transition where you have many examples from Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, of people who are trying to get those regions working again, through culture through reforestation, everything and throw notably also clean energy because you have a lot of cleaners, your potential owners or mines, you have the corner to transition and of course, you have to find like the just transition from which is not out yet but it’s it’s very talked about lately in their opinion. So now I’m just going to move on to China who is facing quite a different problem. There Very in a very ambivalent position in the way that they are leaders in renewable energy, but it is also it has also by far the largest fleet of coal fired power plants that you can see on this little graph. I mean, I don’t think you can tell by yourself. And so what’s what’s preventing China to get away from this huge core problem? Here? It’s interesting because you have a political barriers embedded within technological one, through this

Unknown Speaker 12:33
myth of the King Cole.

Unknown Speaker 12:36
That I pointed in my slide. So I’m talking about this because recently the People’s Bank of China, so the kind of central bank there has decided to issue green bombs for coal projects, and obviously, clean coal. Sorry, Trump does not exist. So and I actually when you dig a little deeper This kind of this kind of announcement to say they think although they really exist, is distracting from a far more comfortable problem for China is that they have way too much under us firepower capacity, whereas they fleet is quite young. So for them clean is really just a pollution remediation rather than fighting against the actual climate crisis that we’re facing.

Unknown Speaker 13:25
So and

Unknown Speaker 13:27
as you can see on this little map, you can see that they’re going to increase the fire part of the coal fired power plants.

Unknown Speaker 13:37
But it’s mostly going to be in the inland and the remote.

Unknown Speaker 13:43
The remote

Unknown Speaker 13:45
coastal area sorry, the coastal area, which is the former coal belt is already having some problems because this is reaching a peak and it’s going to go down and people are already losing their jobs. And I am quoting the China University of Social Sciences, which estimated that already 2.3 million miners will require new jobs by 2020. So what do you do when you have 50% of jobs in a region like Shane, she were correlated this course for, of course, much larger programmes, but also regional because again, it’s a very regional problem. So for me, it’s hard to overcome them is maybe less straightforward and from the case of Eastern Europe, but it’s careful enhance international cooperation with a careful narrative of how you’re going to bring this this case in front of the international scene, and four regions already struggling like in Chang, she is necessary Of course you share the best practice for now is mostly very early stages, intervention that are taking place so we can’t really have the results yet. But we can always learn from mistakes made in the past and it We made mistakes in the past in terms of coface out in the UK or in the US. So that’s something that really needs to be enhanced in the share of best practices. And the last thing I want to say before I leave them leave over to Heather, is that when you talk about coface out, of course, it’s an imperative when you talk about the context of climate change. There’s also a very ethical question and say that for 200 years, and Europe and North America mostly as well, Australia has been developing, largely thanks to fossil fuels, ankle. And so without this looming climate crisis day, so we really need to be careful when we talk to other countries when we didn’t have that chance with. Well, the court is not in structural decline, and that we need to really look at the fact that coal is not does not make sense anymore. And I think Heather is going to touch on that. So I’ll leave her to

Unknown Speaker 16:02
Great, thank you very much. That was a good point to to conclude on. Before Heather starts, just wanted to say thank you to people who have started sending in questions would encourage everybody to, to spend in more. Have a Bruce.

Unknown Speaker 16:22
I’m sorry, I caught a few. I’ll just Yeah. Great. Hello, everyone. It’s Heather here. Again. I’m Hannah McKay. If I just wrap up my slide quickly.

Unknown Speaker 16:36
Right. It’s interesting how quickly using technology makes you want to become a Luddite again.

Unknown Speaker 16:43

Unknown Speaker 16:53

Unknown Speaker 16:55
content. Fantastic. So my presentation is I don’t know if any of you in the audience seen the film how to make friends and alienate people, I’m trying to make a joker enough to how to make energy transitions and not alienate people. So my key tenants, right this this presentation is it. Although it is essential that we take rapid and effective action to transition our energy system to a clean energy sources. It’s also really important to remember the tenant that everyone’s brought along. Any successful, sustainable transition has to be inclusive. And so that’s what I’ll be talking about today. Calls one of the key milestones that we have to achieve to to keep us below two degrees in our 2015. And I mean, why aren’t we there yet? That’s what I’m gonna explore today, mainly centred around the two key barriers that I think Carla also touched on the economic and depth of economic buyers, and the reality of political barriers. And I’ll also be discussing a topic On how those two things into play, again, and what you often find is political barriers lesson in response to lessening economic barriers and reality, or even the perception of lessening economic barriers in reality. I’ve also started this presentation with reference to communities. So again, three different communities, the local communities that have the coal miner and their families and their local community, and that of business and investment. And that is the global community that all of us in the world who are facing the impacts on the climate crisis. So I’ll start with I’ll start with the big, scary one.

Unknown Speaker 18:44

Unknown Speaker 18:48
I mentioned this, but climate change is a brutal reality for millions and millions of people. And it’s especially concentrated in the Google Sites. And there are some some data that showed that by 2050, the cost of climate change Developing countries would exceed $1 trillion every single year. As you can see from the slide, the shadow and climate finance report by Oxfam also reported in a quarter time skill, that the cost of dealing with climate change, adaptation costs would range from 140 to $300 billion every single year. This is two countries you can least afford it, it’s a bit like going out for a meal with your friends, and order a salad and the order stakes and then they leave you with the bill is how I would phrase it. So it’s really important to remember justice in this perspective, it’s it’s often those countries that have benefited at least from the current system that the most impacted. We’re not safe either is because a global north person, again from the UK and the EU and after policy report report and said that $14 billion worth of damages the UK, again, floods issue as well in a similar story develops and we also see in California, the recent fires that burned down all the celebrity homes and the Los Angeles and 24th and 15 out of 20, the largest wildfires in California happened since 2000s. I think that’s pretty prevalent, the cost of inaction and climate change is substantial. Why aren’t we taking action? it? Is it is it that call was so profitable. It’s such as the cheapest option around that, you know, it just makes sense to do it. The answer’s no and unequivocably know, and and that nor get stronger with every single year. Cost parity with clean energy is basically here today in terms of coal. And I couldn’t find this to gas but we’re going to keep restrained this competition to call for now. And so this this analysis, I won’t go through the numbers in detail, but basically, the first box onshore wind and solar and the third box, the dark blue boxes indicate the pricing of solar, solar and wind and per megawatt hour without subsidies, and the cost of installing new resources is basically On part with it with maintaining existing resources. This is quite significant when it comes to what it means for the profitability of the industry. And, again, I’ll emphasise on this call many regions in the world so that’s China, India, the EU and the US cost parity with new renewables and existing coal has been reached a new quarter has been reached today. And that trend will be pretty much uniform the world over in the next five years. So increasingly, the economic case rebuilt from creating new coal plants is an increasingly week. I’ll also quickly draw your attention to the right hand column. This is the kind of stranded asset risk and just one small little village China could save 380 $9 billion by by reforming their energy system in line with the Paris agreement scenario two degree scenario. Again, you can play around with numbers. But I think that’s that’s substantial. It just shows you the impact of having a longer term investment perspective can have when, when forward planning for your your national engine networks.

Unknown Speaker 22:17
Again, how does this individual call

Unknown Speaker 22:23
call the call industry in coal mines are becoming less and less profitable. Again, carbon traffic tracker data found that 42% of global clastic could be lost making at this very point by 24 to the estimate that’s going to be 72%. I read some data that’s going to come later in the presentation that 70% of American of us corporates are not profitable anymore. And it’s interesting the strength of political narrative around maintaining coal plants are so valuable for vanity versus the economics of it. It’s it’s very disappointing to mind I think whenever this discussion Come up. So again, what this study wouldn’t have been the time on this, but what this slide talks about is, how are these kind of global trends impact, the trangia, the process of transitioning away from call. And so they outlined three key economic inflection points that policymakers and investors need to track to provide the least cost power and avoid stranded assets. So the first one is where new renewables and gas are cheaper than nickel. That’s today, that’s going to be about 2025 years to do in most countries, but it’s been really great friends was a closer hope. The second is when you new renewables and gas outcompete operating existing pool. Now, again, a contractor I would recommend checking out the most recent call reports very interesting, but they found that 35% of global capacity is in this bracket already. And by 2030, that number is going to go up to 96% so most of the global fleet will be, will be obsolete in comparison to new renewables and technology. With us, because this has a lot to do with how policymakers implement and integrate renewable energy and power into the system, but

Unknown Speaker 24:20
it’s it’s pretty clear that

Unknown Speaker 24:26
this supposed to be harnessed the first to the trend is that policymakers will get on board and will integrate these systems into the global at the national energy supply more rapidly. I will also I think it’s a really cool chart on the right of basically it very nicely illustrates some point I was making before that the percentage of new and operating capacity that is higher in law and operating costs and renewables between 2018 and 2013. And a couple of key points, the US Under the figures I mentioned is uncompetitive at this point in time went by 2030 100%. I’m going to 20% right now is, is I competitive by 2030 100%? I think it’s very, very positive science for them to transition. Businesses are also recognising this too. And so two things here, I think they’re really cool. And again, I won’t spend too much time, callers becoming uninsurable the 17 of the world’s largest insurance holding 46% of global a un and that space and have issued collect funds that’s doubled in the last year. Another thing is Poland and client earth which is an incredible organisation, but basically bought some bought some $30 worth of shares in some cool companies and held the board to account and the fiduciary duty to not build new coal plants discipline being an economical decisions and then One and the cost and to new and massive coupons important. So I think the the positive signs are there that the winds are changing and I think we will we will achieve and effectively that all economics to support costs are effectively non existent. However, so what’s the downside? So why aren’t we doing this already? Well, unfortunately, there will always be costs with anything but less and the real cost is on jobs and justice. So, again, the way you can have all these global trends translate into the individual called coal mining company, is a fact they do three things. So firstly, when their their business becomes less competitive in mechanised people with robots with them with mechanisation and methods, which also causes unemployment. The second thing is it closed down on efficient mines and efficient mines again, losing jobs. Eventually the whole industry causes and the whole company causes and then move into something else which costs jobs. And I know there’s kind of a couple of key stakeholders we have to consider in this. Firstly, it’s the obviously the local community, it’s the coal miners and the families and the communities. Secondly, it’s the owners and the investors in the coupons. And thirdly, it’s their local governments and national governments which depend on that income. And so we have to be very cognizant of these knock on effects if this process is not appropriately manage.

Unknown Speaker 27:36
And the coal industry a very small and the US it’s your point 06 percent and China 2.4% and I think can use something similar. However, there’s very specific characteristics of a coal mining community in a coal mining industry, that mean that the causing don’t have an entry in the loss of jobs can be very acutely felt until have long lasting impacts. One of those is a cause and pull mining operations are often live looking at very far away from me. Not many other jobs, we will get to see it was a cool job. Secondly, the model industry is that that indicates, which means that when a coal plant shuts down, all the other businesses are pretty much dependent on the income for the Copeland retail health, education and food. Um, they all they all suffer. And the third is that layoffs, some data from the US found that layoffs Nicole and chicken have really long lasting impact. So I think the estimated the loss of earnings are 30% for the next 10 to 15 to 20 years of the individual’s life.

Unknown Speaker 28:41

Unknown Speaker 28:44
its interest, it’s going to bleed into the political stuff as well. So I’m the moderator tonight. Jonathan had a really interesting conversation of a while ago about how important narratives are when you’re transitioning and you think okay, well, why does it matter? You know, why was it important? The way someone feels about how, how included they are in a in an image transition can very, very much impact their willingness to participate in it. Their self sense of identity, and also the political position that the polls towards that that trend. But the characters is Paul many communities having the following four characteristics strength, determination, value of hard work and values and rest of perception of escape ticking. If you strip someone like that career away from them, they feel completely disempowered. They feel that it really is a massive barrier for them re entering the workforce. And if you spread that to community wide impact, you see that whole areas are lost whole communities die, not actually the people within the communities but but the economic features of the communities themselves. And this can help us this this picture here from the US where a group of coal miners is quite lonely. protesting the fact that the nicomachean declared bankruptcy, and quite a lot of them have black lung which is increasingly prevalent.

Unknown Speaker 30:13
for healthcare, we have to remember that these people, we shouldn’t blame them we should remember that they have to be brought along to in the transition. Again, you might ask yourselves why you know if you can have the present of the idea that everyone deserves partner financial picture, but on a systemic level, it can have unknown measurable impacts. So this is my last slide actually what you see here to

Unknown Speaker 30:46
ex con the places in the UK.

Unknown Speaker 30:49
I find that

Unknown Speaker 30:51
despite 20 years of

Unknown Speaker 30:55
European and

Unknown Speaker 30:58
the history Or the loss of identity and a loss of employment have knock on effect to future generations. And also again, I would have to mention to anyone I’m from the UK today we’re having quite an important election. And lots of that simmering anger has bubbled up in the last two years. The fact that we can’t just ignore communities, this stuff will come back to bite us as policymakers as individuals and as members of national committee and as members of an international community, unless we strongly prioritise and including people in the just transition towards a clean energy future. So my conclusions are, you see I didn’t ever win a prize for graphic design. I kind of thought of this having a kind of a feedback loop between these these different communities, the rest of an action or quickly, books that are on a kind of a local level of business and investment committees losing assets. And I think climate change is expected to cost the global economy a whole bunch of money. A global community is so people in the global safe really suffering today. However, the rest of poorly planned action and probably carried out action are also significant. And we can’t, we can’t be clear enough to policymakers and to our energy ministers. This is a priority for them in the transition. So that’s me. If you have any questions, please type it in the chat or drop me an email. And I’ll pass on to Tom who’s going to give you a case study of best practice and worst practice in managing these energy transitions.

Unknown Speaker 32:33
Okay, thank you, Heather, thank you for reminding us in the last but one slide about how long things can reverberate for when transitions are not not just by showing us the former coal mining areas in the in the UK and reminding us that that’s reverberating in today’s election in the in the UK and this is 30 to 40 years after The unjust transition. Tom, please.

Unknown Speaker 33:06
Thank you, Heather. And thank you, Jonathan.

Unknown Speaker 33:10
So my name is Tom human from Australia. I like to sort of provide an Australian perspective on transition away from coal, as had mentioned with some positive examples and some examples of what not to do. So first, just to sort of set the scene, Australia is very heavily reliant on coal as an economy. So it’s by far our biggest export, and it equates in euros to about 55 billion euros per year in exports. coal production is actually forecast to increase 34% by 2030. So we’re talking about a huge ramp up in coal and gas in Australia to the point where 18% of all the world’s emissions will come from Australia alone. And this is, you know, debatable debate. On how things pan out and in terms of the economics, as Heather mentioned, and in terms of how the policy response sort of ramps up over the years to climate action, but nevertheless, there’s there’s going to be an inevitable decline of the coal fired power stations and the minds in Australia as more renewables join system. And we’ve currently got 24 operating coal fired power stations. Some of them have planned closure dates, some of them don’t. So we can learn from some of the past closures and future closures about how this should or could go about. So firstly, I’d like to sort of explain why coal is so politically contentious in Australia. I guess similar to the UK, you’ve got the situation where you’ve got coal being very important to some regions, so one of them is North Queensland. You can see that in the map. There’s people in the picture there up the top right. And that’s North Queensland is a lot of coal reserves. And you may have heard of the Adani Coal Mine is set to be located in central Queensland. To the far left, you’ve got Western Australia. And Kali is quite an important coal mining town, and then down in Victoria, but the Latrobe Valley. So these are sort of regional towns where coal mining and coal fired power is really central to the communities. But then in the cities, where people like myself live and in urban areas, coal is quite politically unpopular, especially with an increased sort of demand for decarbonisation policies and to sort of do our bit on the national stage to reduce emissions. It’s no sort of everyone knows that Australia has amazing sun. But we also have some of the best wind resources in the world as well. So a lot of the people in the cities are sort of seeing these opportunities. And thinking how can we harness them and doing need coal for the economy to thrive in the future? We recently had a federal election. So I know what you’re going through in the UK over there. It was about six months ago and Cole featured heavily throughout the campaign, you had the right wing party, the Liberal Party campaigning in favour of an expansion of coal mining and retaining coal fired power plants. And on the left, you had the Labour Party, and the Labour Party was sort of prepared to back new coal mines but also back renewable energy, and they’re sort of trying to play it both ways and see how that would pan out. It turns out that the Labour Party’s approach wasn’t particularly successful when it didn’t ring through to voters and especially in regional towns, what you saw is actually a swing to the far right. So you had people feeling so alienated and And they felt so alienated politically that they are willing to back this sort of nativist, far right. And politicians such as Pauline Hanson’s one nation, which is similar to the Brexit party in the UK, or Donald Trump in the US. And I guess this is this is a trend which is happening across Australia. And so the response in some sections of the community has been to actually support call more. And you’re seeing a further and further division in Australian society and in the political narratives about Cole it’s becoming increasingly divisive.

Unknown Speaker 37:39
So I’d like to take you to the example of Hazelwood power station, this was power station in Victoria and the Latrobe Valley owned by energy which is a French company and about about 800 staff are employed at the peak and then in 2016, to the shock of all the employees and to the geralyn community at large, RG announced that hazely power station wouldn’t be closing within five months. And there was to be no real long term plan for the future of the workers and the communities and these people who’ve lived with coal for many generations. So this sort of sent shockwaves about the community, the unemployment rate, skyrocketed. And we saw huge surges in drug use mental health issues, alcohol, homelessness and things like this, and a huge amount of people fled the region then move to the cities and move to the surrounding areas, looking for work, looking to put food on the table.

Unknown Speaker 38:41
So sort of

Unknown Speaker 38:43
a really

Unknown Speaker 38:46
important example of how not to transition away from coal as a response to that you had the local state government, the Victorian Government thinking, you know, this is a bit of a political tinderbox and possibly we should Look at solving this issue by injecting a lot of money into the region. So they ended up investing quite a lot of money and they launched a plan for the region, which included giving some live subsidies to an electric truck manufacturer called SCA. And FCA basically takes old diesel and petrol trucks, takes out their drive trains and puts in electric motors and batteries. And they have a plan to hit 500 jobs by 2022 in the region of the Latrobe Valley, and it’s been actually extremely successful. And I think one thing which is important about this story is that some people think when you’re phasing out coal fired power or shutting down a coal mine basically you can just pop a wind farm exactly where that coal fired power station was. Everyone just finished his work one day at the coal fired power station and starts the next at the solar farm or the wind farm but in reality, the resources in the area, don’t always Match the fossil fuel resources and the renewable energy resources. So in this case, opening up local manufacturing was actually provided quite a great path for the workers to transition from the power station to the electric truck manufacturer. So it actually turned out to be quite an important beacon of hope for different communities around Australia and around the world. Looking to sort of harness different economic opportunities when when call finally has its day. And now over on the opposite side of the country in Cali. This is a town which basically has provided the backbone of the power system in Western Australia for almost five generations. So a lot of the employees in the town directly employed in call and if not directly, then a lot of the small businesses their rely on the workforce to keep town alive. However, there is a plan to phase out colonies town because it’s becoming economically viable. Basically, they’re losing money every year. With the amount of renewables coming onto the system through rooftop solar and other renewables, the coal fired power plants are getting old, and they need to shut down. So the government has set an end date for two of the planets in the region 2022 and 2023. However, they haven’t set up any plan for what the workers are going to do when these plants are shut down. So this is sort of created a different story where you have at least a long term idea of, of, of when this the planets going to shut down which is a positive, we don’t have any kind of path to guide the workers and the community about what the future is looking like. So incomes a group called Beyond zero emissions and they’re a community around non for profit. They’ve just launched This report called Cali at the crossroads last week. And this is a really important report because basically what beyond zero emissions or basically have done is they’ve come into the town many months ago, and they started having these meetings with the workers, the unions, indigenous traditional owners of the land, and the community members. And they said, if you were to think about the future of Cali, what would it look like to you? What do you like about the town? What do you want to keep about the town? And what can we do differently if the coal jobs are to go away? And then what they’ve come up with is quite a bold policy blueprint for the town. And as I said earlier, often these towns don’t necessarily have the best renewable energy resources. And this is definitely the case in Cali doesn’t have the best wind speed. It doesn’t have the best solar resources, but it does have a lot of know how it does have a little of connection

Unknown Speaker 43:03
in terms of roads and rail to the main hubs throughout Western Australia, so there’s an opportunity for it to be launched as a manufacturing hub. So what beyond zero emissions have decided is that they basically have put forward this plan for all of Western Australia to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030. They’ve costed that, and they figured out that if that were to be done, you’re going to need a whole lot of wind turbines to be manufactured. You’re going to be creating a whole bunch of solar panels, and you’re going to need a bunch of batteries as well. So basically, you could transition these workers in groups and into these different new industries. And the other thing is that they’ve recommended that all new homes in Western Australia be built with low or zero carbon materials, and that these materials could be made in Cali itself so the workers could be transitioning. Two solar panel and battery recycling plants, zero carbon cement, etc. So it provides quite an interesting sort of. Yeah, it’s quite a unique and forward looking approach for how to transition workers away from coal, while keeping the good things about the community, making consultative so that the community is on board with the whole process and, and provide a good vision for the future.

Unknown Speaker 44:31
So that’s, that’s me. Thanks.

Unknown Speaker 44:35
Great. Thank you very much, Tom. Let me go to the q amp a box for some questions to pose to our speakers. I noticed from our participants list that we have some people who, who actually live in coal mining communities or who work on the issues of coal mining community So I would strongly hope that we’ll get some questions from coal mining communities in that in that way, but let me take one question that’s been asked that I think, relates fairly closely to what Tom was just telling us about the community of Cali, in Australia. And this question is, to the speakers, do you have any ideas yourselves on what could be done to encourage environmental consciousness by members of communities in order to make the transition away from Cole, less frightening for people in the in the industry? Tom, I don’t know if you want to be the first one to to address.

Unknown Speaker 45:46
Yeah, but of course, no worries. And I think that speaking of Cali This town is sort of been sort of slowly squeezed and squeezed by the local coal industry. So when the coal plant was bought out by an international investor recently, they said, We need to save money, we need to reduce costs. So the way they decided to do that is they renegotiated pay agreements with all the workers and they all took a $36,000 per year pay cut in order to keep their jobs. And so but the thing is, they still love their job and they still love their community. What is really needed is a long term plan. And that’s got to involve training. And I think this is really where the government needs to step in and needs to start thinking about what the jobs of the future could be and getting these traineeships and apprenticeships organised for these workers so that they can find a transition in terms of building environmental consciousness amongst oil, coal and gas members. I mean, that’s maybe not necessarily the end goal. I think That if you can provide a vision for the future, which is positive and which is inclusive, and includes these people in their own narratives about what they want the future to be, then they’re going to, they’re going to be positive about it. As long as, like we said, they know they could secure jobs, they’re going to be lasting multiple years, and they’re not sort of

Unknown Speaker 47:20
just a sort of short term solution.

Unknown Speaker 47:26
Okay, thank you. Um, hello, Carla, do you want to add something to that? Heather? Go ahead, please.

Unknown Speaker 47:36
Um, so I went to amazing talk, once a month ago by a woman called Katharine Hayhoe. And she spoke about communicating about the exponential transition with groups that may have different viewpoints for years and will react to them with fear. And it’s just some advice I’ll get when you’re communicating with people is, is find out what their values are. What these are You in their life, you know, is it? Is it a sense of community? Is it? Is it job security? Is it sitting part of a national narrative and speak to them on that level speak to them on, on using that value structure in a way that they can understand the boat, the convention vision, and it’s actually far more effective than you think. And she spoke about actually going to she’s from Texas and she she went to our local fossil fuel company and spoke to the board was quite nervous about doing some stuff. They just tell her to leave and go away afterwards. And then she went in and she saw the kind of the rotary membership plaque on the wall, which is values of inclusiveness and community. So she spoke to him about the condition condition through that lens, and they all left us and they’re not kind of activists then climate aware. And I would totally recommend just talking, just talking on a level.

Unknown Speaker 48:54
Okay, thank you, Heather. Carla, did you want to add something on that question or

Unknown Speaker 49:00
No, I think everything was covered by Tom.

Unknown Speaker 49:03
Okay, right.

Unknown Speaker 49:06
Okay, so questions just come in that’s very timely. This is possibly more for Heather and Carla them for Tom. What do you think about the European Green Deal, and the just transition fund?

Unknown Speaker 49:27
One of you want to

Unknown Speaker 49:30
I can go ahead and talk about it. And I do think that the pinguin deal is a very important document to have. For now we only have a communication they don’t everything, every anyone knows really all they’re going to do but it’s going to imply massive work of vision. And I do think that this revision for the European case is essential to just make sure that everything the industry in all sectors are in line with this climate objective and then we can make sure that we are Climate Neutral. But and turn the Justin Justin from Well, nobody even knows less about this just transition from but I do think that for it to succeed, it needs to be very targeted to the countries that struggle the most. So they can be in Eastern Europe, they also have coal mining region in Germany, they can struggle as well. And in in Western Europe, as well. So it needs to be very localised and indeed to compensate the right thing to compensate. So, for me, it’s, it’s good. The narrative always has to be talked down. You have to make sure that everybody’s saying something that they’re going to really achieve and step up their efforts and not this nice narrative that won’t translate into action. But if it does translate into action, then I do think that is good for climate goals and as a signal to other nations of other world.

Unknown Speaker 51:02
Okay, thank you. Heather, did you want to add something?

Unknown Speaker 51:10
Yeah, yes.

Unknown Speaker 51:13
I think Carla covered it all. I think two things. One on the European Greendale I think, was exciting for me, slightly unrelated to this is that they’re reporting 40% of the budget in the Common Agricultural Policy to tackle climate change and emissions from agriculture, a significant contribution to you emissions. And I think that’s amazing. So well done, that you Fingers crossed, that it’s been changed and made one vicious. The second thing is on the gesture, and just and I think it’s just to pull some threads from things that Tom said things that Carla says, and parts of my presentation as well. The actual cost of becoming it makes sense to decarbonize in terms of long term pricing of energy. So I think the just transition fund, it’s great that it’s there and it raises the profile of the need to have a just transition needs to be targeted as kind of said not just two countries which are most affected, but also to almost like these consultation projects that Tom was alluding to, rather than actually rather than investing in the system, which itself is marketable to the standard investment industry. I think it should be more for social inclusion assets, rather than just throwing money at the problem.

Unknown Speaker 52:28
I’d like to just add something on the on the European Green Deal. I think that

Unknown Speaker 52:33
one thing which is quite important about it is the idea of the border adjustment tax. So the European Greendale has has this concept in it where items to be imported to the EU starting out with I think was cement steel and elementium would be subject to the same allowances under the EU emissions trading scheme as locally sourced product so that means that there’s no disadvantage to decarbonising, cement, steel and elementium for the local producers, and that’s really important for European jobs. But it also sends a message to countries like Australia who made basically no inroads on decarbonizing these heavy industries. And if they want to import or export to the EU than ever, we’ve really got to up our game in terms of you know, decarbonizing and the other thing I’d say about the digital transition, finding the European Greendale generally is that if you can pull this off, and then it will send a beacon to the rest of the world that this is how you can transition really diverse, you know, multilateral group away from heavily polluting industries, and it sends a message to Australia, like if all of Europe can figure out a plan, you know, to transition away from coal, including countries such as Poland, etc. then surely a tiny country like Australia can figure it out as well. I think that that’s really encouraging. And I’m really excited to watch that, and I’m watching a lot.

Unknown Speaker 54:07
Yeah, I think large parts of the world are going to be watching the EU, the implementation of the EU. Green Deal to see what it actually means in practice, because there’s colour system and so far it’s a it’s a plan as a communication, a lot of the detail is still to be worked out. And it will be really important to see how the just transition fund once it’s up and running, how it’s targeting its its its expenditures, and what it’s achieving on the on the ground. Now, I’d like to pick out a quite different type of question we’ve got we’ve got quite a few questions, but not unfortunately going to have time to answer all of them because we only have about five minutes left but but there’s a question about Climate change more broadly. That says, climate change is a reality it changes every day, look back at the predictions of five years ago or 10 years ago more, and then says we have not reached any of those predictions. We must act, but we must act upon real predictions from honest data. When will we get data that we can trust? And and then there’s some more but that’s the that’s the essence of the of the question. Who would like to address that one?

Unknown Speaker 55:38
This is a pretty it’s a pretty key question.

Unknown Speaker 55:48
I was gonna say I think I’m going to spin off that question. Um, I do think that climate and I think just want to thank you Except a bit quiet predictions as they will be broad, and they’re not going to be certain. But we do know something that we do know the consequent action will be bad. And we can see, even if you look at the incidence of wildfires, as I mentioned, and over the last 10 years in California, it’s out of the ordinary, I think we can extrapolate those cut the current costs of dealing with those issues, to to assume that the cost of inaction on climate change will be substantial. And then even stepping away from climate change. The US pulled up the Paris agreement for they’re still making changes to the economy, no energy system in line with the Paris Agreement, or in the spirit of the Paris Agreement, because it makes economic sense. It’s cheaper. And I think it’s a lot cheaper to transition away from fossil fuels, which are a finite source of energy to new energy, which has a bunch of other ancillary benefits. And I think that’s how I would tackle the question is just if you can’t get sold in the climate data, then I think get behind the economics. Make sense?

Unknown Speaker 57:11

Unknown Speaker 57:13
Collins, if you want to add something on that,

Unknown Speaker 57:16
about the data, I mean, of course, it’s really hard to say that we have the best data in the world, especially for countries that aren’t already trustable. Let’s say. I do think that for example, the International Energy Agency does a great job at compiling those data that they have from the from the fact I can see the question, but like, the manufactory energy they will indeed, like I think the question implies that there’s a lot of raw materials will take into account etc. And in in the European Union, they are already looking at ways on how to recycle Those new materials because, well, a lot of avenues and renewable partners are going at the end of the day so hard to, to recycle them and how to reuse them and how to build new business plans that they can take that into account in order to have, hopefully enough raw materials to build as much as we get as we need a very renewable pipelines. So yeah.

Unknown Speaker 58:27
Okay, thank you. I just wanted to add, actually, I read a study about something about a week ago. That appeared about a week ago, a team decided to test this hypothesis that climate change predictions, and this is specifically about, you know, how much warming there would be by now so that, that the models test the hypothesis that the models hadn’t been working well, and they found, they found the opposite. They found that there were plenty of climate prediction models. When you looked at them, you know, 510 1520 years on, they’d actually done pretty well. In fact, some of them are sort of under predicted climate change. So this was a study really that kind of contradicts the, the assumption in this question. I’m going to go to one last question because we have about two minutes left. I don’t know if you can answer this in two minutes. But the question says, relating to gratis recent speech at COP 25. What’s your view on political and company greenwashing? Should this be allowed if larger actions are not actually being made? And here’s a great question. Who would like to take that?

Unknown Speaker 59:47
Okay, I don’t think I’ll quickly I’ll quickly just say something. We have a company called bhp. They’re one of the biggest coal mining companies in the world. A lot of people have heard of them. And recently, the CEO made a big splashy announcement. Saying that climate change is real. And and we need to do a lot more about it. But at the same time bhp is one of the main funders of two. Actually, there’s four separate groups in Australia who’ve done more damage than any other group in terms of climate policy. One of them’s the minerals Council, and then you’ve got the Business Council and the Queensland resources Council, etc. So what they say publicly is very different to what they’re doing behind the scenes to twist these politicians arms and make sure that nothing gets done and then business models are not affected.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:36
Okay, thank you have a colour you want to show?

Unknown Speaker 1:00:42
So yeah, I do think because now climate is not new hot topic.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:49
And so companies are trying to waking up from the fact that they need to do something and that they need to change the narrative. So the change of an idea is of one thing and I do think that grip pointed, pointed out something true there, they say a lot of things, but they don’t actually do a lot. And for me, I’ll take the case I know the best, which is friends. We are trying currently with thanks to one of the association and part of the ecological awakening, to really call out the industries and what they’re doing and to really transform the world into action by basically trying to train the future people that want to work there to ask a good question to them. And if hopefully, if you have enough people asking infusing jobs, because you’re not in line with what they believe, then it will start to make a difference.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:46
Thank you. Heather, did you want to?

Unknown Speaker 1:01:49

Unknown Speaker 1:01:51
I think that greenwashing is terrible, I think they use washing as well as terrible. That’s the new flavour of the month because young people have been so active in the climate movement. undefined that a lot. It’s not just enough to play lip service just on this just transition, I inclusive transition, you actually have to listen to what people are saying and take on board. I was at presentation Chatham House Rules, I would say the company, they did a lot of bad things with baby foods in the 90s in Africa. And they were talking about how ethical they were and how incredible they’ve been at Trump transitioning the company away from unethical behaviours. And speaking of it, like there were a person who was just just just a full just casually at fault for making a darn mistake. And I think that’s, that shouldn’t be allowed. And I think, especially with climate change, impacts that some stage needs to be a policy mechanism which mandates that organisations disclose the climate risk of their operations without enough financial even more better than then EA and vomiting Impact Assessment should be a climate impact assessment should be mandated at some point. I think that until the stuff is legislated, we’re going to have lots of organisations following the trend and following the consumer market for ethical products and not really taking effective action.

Unknown Speaker 1:03:18
That’s my two cents.

Unknown Speaker 1:03:20
Okay, thank you with more than two cents.

Unknown Speaker 1:03:24
I would just add from from my side, that the type of companies we’re talking about, I mean oil, gas and coal, in terms of the, the business they use very sort of hard, precise metrics to hold themselves accountable for what they define as performance, whether it’s on cost on on sales or whatever it’s on there, they they’re almost addicted to hard metrics and hard facts. So what that tells us is they have systems in place that can produce very hard metrics. And that civil society or their employees or their shareholders or whoever can hold companies like that somehow to, to account should be demanding hard metrics on their climate impacts because too often you just get a lot of a lot of rhetoric or greenwashing or whatever we want to call it or night nice sounding words, without facts, you know, if an oil company tells you lots of stories about how they’re moving into renewables or electric vehicles or whatever they’re doing, then they need to tell you what percentage of their assets is now includes stuff instead of in dirty stuff, what what kind of transition has actually been taken in some, some clear quantitative terms, because they’ll they’ll very rarely tell you that. So on that note, I’m afraid we’ve run out of time going over time. Thank you very much to Carla to Heather and to Tom, for sharing their thoughts with us. Thank you to Tom for being up in the am or whatever it is in Australia to join us. And if any of the three of you want to send sort of follow up answers to people’s whose questions weren’t answered, because we ran out of time, feel free to do that. And, as I mentioned at the beginning, everybody who registered for the webinar will get a recording of the webinar. So thank you very much to our speakers. Thank you very much to everybody for participating and goodbye

Transcribed by

Share This