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Energy and Climate Change: A Just Transition for Indian LabourA Just Transition for Indian Labour

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Due to the extent of unionization in India’s coal and other carbon-rich sectors, trade unions can resist the tide of privatization and play an active role in formulating a just transition that integrates worker and social concerns into climate responses. An Indian just transition will be located around the need to peak coal usage soon and transition to renewables, with the additional complication of protecting livelihoods, as India’s coal-rich states are also its poorest. This chapter puts forth that democratic, public, and cooperative management of energy systems can prioritize social alongside climate concerns, as part of a wider industrial strategy to retrain workers and decarbonize industry. Climate change will also impact working conditions and workers’ health, with the burden likely to fall on households. Access to social services in workplaces, streets, and homes becomes necessary to alleviate the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable.

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... In some cases, the low-carbon technologies can also cause inequities. Three pillars that India's just transition needs to be predicated on have been indicated by Roy et al. (2019): ...
... On the other hand, more training may be required in some cases. For training and skilling the workers, a "well-coordinated worker training programme" that helps with the transition has been recommended (Roy et al., 2019). In this regard, presence of a "renewable energy PSU" has also been recommended (Roy et al., 2019). ...
... For training and skilling the workers, a "well-coordinated worker training programme" that helps with the transition has been recommended (Roy et al., 2019). In this regard, presence of a "renewable energy PSU" has also been recommended (Roy et al., 2019). ...
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The objective of the study is to understand the concept of a just transition strategy based on the evidence from the Indian manufacturing sector, including the micro, medium and small-scale enterprises, the coal mining sector and the power sector. The study has attempted to understand the preparedness of India to implement a just transition strategy based on primary surveys conducted across several stakeholders and interviews of experts. Apart from the primary survey, the study also analyses some of the important characteristics like employment intensity, energy intensity, total value added and export competitiveness of some of the organised manufacturing sector. Detailed analysis of the energy composition of formal manufacturing industries indicates that electricity purchased constitutes the bulk of the total energy consumed, followed by coal, petrol and other fuels. Manufacturing of other non-metallic mineral industry uses highly energy intensive production techniques, followed by the manufacturing of basic metals, paper and paper related products, textiles, and chemicals and chemical products. Five industries (Basic Metals, Other Non-metallic minerals, Chemicals, Paper, Textiles) constitute 32 per cent of the total workers employed in the organised manufacturing sector in the year 2018-19. The manufacturing of textiles constitutes the bulk: 11 per cent of the total workers employed in the organised manufacturing sector. ASI unit level data for 2018-19 has been used to understand the energy composition of MSMEs. 69 per cent of the total energy used by the small enterprises, 60 per cent of the total energy used by the micro enterprises and 44 per cent of the total energy used by the medium enterprises comprises of electricity purchased.
... For India, just transition has been interpreted as an economic change that is structural and is essentially 'a socio-economic transition' (Bhushan et al., n.d.). The energy sector has been recognised as a core element in India's just transition narrative (Roy et al., 2019). Energy transition and just transition should be simultaneously implemented in the case of India (Bhushan et al., n.d.). ...
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In light of India’s COP26 commitment of reaching net zero by 2070, it is important to understand how India could ensure a ‘just transition.’ Since the transition raises several questions regarding who will benefit from it and who will lose out, this paper offers an assessment of the sectors that will be impacted most by the transition. This includes coal, mining, power, formal manufacturing sectors, and MSMEs. Macroeconomic consequences of the transition in terms of employment intensity, energy intensity, the total value added, and export competitiveness of the above-mentioned sectors have been examined. Using data from the Annual Survey of Industries for 2017-18 and 2018-19 and key informant interviews, the paper presents a sectoral analysis of the transition in the Indian context. In terms of employment, the power and the coal sector will be affected the most. In terms of fuel use, manufacturing sectors that either use coal or purchase electricity (indirectly using coal) will also be impacted. The spatial dimension of the transition will be very important, since certain coal-producing districts will be affected the most.
... Europe (Sovacool et al. 2019;Pianta and Lucchese 2020). Research on the just energy transition in the global South has predominantly concentrated on labour and associated inequalities, e.g. in India (Roy et al. 2019) or South Africa (Cock 2019) or on the socio-political implications of such a transition, e.g. in Colombia (Torres 2019), Sri Lanka (Theiventhran 2022) or Mexico (Mejía-Montero et al. 2020. A few country comparisons have dealt with either national just transition policies in e.g. ...
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... As one would anticipate, India's largest coal stocks are in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana, which are also home to the largest populations of the poor and marginalized groups (Roy, Kuruvilla, and Bhardwaj 2019). The transition away from coal is intertwined in some ways with the notions of "just transition" that evolved out of the highly unionized mining and energy sector jobs in the Global North.36 ...
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