Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts Amherst
This paper focuses on just transition policies targeted at supporting workers now employed in the fossil fuel industries and ancillary sectors within high-income economies. As a general normative principle, I argue that the overarching aim of such policies should be to protect workers against major losses in their living standards resulting through the fossil fuel industry phase-out. The impacted workers should be provided with three critical guarantees to accomplish this, in the area of jobs, compensation and pensions. Just transition policies should also support workers in the areas of job search, retraining and relocation, but these forms of support should be understood as supplementary. Within the framework of these broad principles, the paper first reviews experiences with transitional policies in Germany, the UK, the EU and, more briefly, Japan and Canada. A critical point that emerges is that these just transition policies do not provide the needed guarantees for assuring workers that they will not experience major living standard declines. The paper then describe an illustrative just transition program for workers that includes reemployment, income and pension guarantees, focusing on a case study for the U.S. state of West Virginia. The results show that the costs of the just transition program for West Virginia’s fossil fuel industry dependent workers will amount to an annual average of about $42,000 per worker, equal to about 0.2 percent of West Virginia’s GDP. I briefly summarize results from the seven other studies of U.S. states and for the overall U.S. economy. For the U.S. economy overall, the just transition program’s costs would total to about 0.015 percent of GDP. These findings demonstrate that providing a generous just transition program does not entail unaffordable levels of public spending. Robust just transition policies should therefore be understood as an entirely realistic prospect for all high-income economies.
Political Economy, Labor Issues, European Union, GDP, Economy, and Fossil Fuels
Japan, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, and Germany
Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Japan has taken concrete steps to integrate climate change into its defence and security strategy going forward, and to provide the necessary budget for implementing the relevant measures needed in mitigating the impacts of this threat. This may signal a more prominent leadership role for Japan on climate security in the Indo-Pacific.
Security, Defense Policy, Climate Change, and Environment
Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
Japan is mobilizing all its policy capabilities for energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and hydrogen energy from the perspective of realizing carbon neutrality by 2050. Among them, the overseas development and return of hydrogen energy to Japan and the domestic green hydrogen development are making great progress since the announcement of the basic hydrogen strategy in December 2017. Japan promotes the green growth strategy (December 2020) as a national strategy to achieve the 2030 GHG reduction target of 46% (compared to 2013) (NDC) and to realize ‘carbon neutrality by 2050’. Japan's green growth strategy sets 14 areas as key development industries, including offshore wind power, hydrogen, nuclear power, automobiles and batteries, semiconductors, and information & technology. It also presents action plans in the key 14 areas such as R&D, demonstration projects, introduction expansion, and self-reliance/commercialization according to the growth stage of each area. In this WEB, we would like to explore which part of Japan's energy transition policy and green growth strategy the Korean government will refer to in order to achieve the task of realizing carbon neutrality by 2050, and cooperate with Japanese government.
Climate Change, Economic Growth, Fossil Fuels, Carbon Emissions, Hydrogen, Energy, and Green Transition