Chile’s coal phase-out: opportunities for a just transition

As countries around the globe make the much-needed transition to zero carbon energy, the livelihoods of millions of coal and oil workers hang in the balance. Discussions surrounding the need for a “just transition”—a framework to protect workers’ rights in the shift to a more resilient, low-carbon economy—have begun in some parts of the world but have been slower to permeate emerging economies. In Latin America, Chile’s initiative to fully phase out coal generation by 2040 will be critical for the Southern Cone country to comply with its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, as well as to meet its domestic decarbonization goals. However, despite the urgency of slashing Chile’s emissions, ensuring that coal workers are not economically abandoned in the process exemplifies one of the main challenges for policymakers surrounding the just transition.