Wednesday, March 29, 2023

[NJFAC] Pollin: Fossil Fuel Industry Phase-Out and Protecting Workers’ Living Standards

ed, Mar 29, 2023 at 11:31 AM

Fossil Fuel Industry Phase-Out and Just Transition: Designing Policies to Protect Workers' Living Standards

by: Robert PollinFebruary 14, 2023 |

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.

June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network

This list is only for announcements, so you may not post. To contact the list manager, write to junez [at]
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "goodjobs" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to
To view this discussion on the web visit