Fossil Fuel Phase-Out: Three Critical Worker Guarantees for a Just Transition

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Lynn Fries, March 27, 2023

Economist Robert Pollin says research findings published in a working paper entitled Fossil Fuel Industry Phase-Out and Just Transition demonstrate Just Transition policies are easily affordable in all high-income countries and imperative for any serious prospect of success in climate stabilization plans.

Robert Pollin, author of the paper, is Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

“The paper focuses on just transition policies targeted at supporting workers now employed in the fossil fuel industries and ancillary sectors within high-income economies,” explains Prof. Pollin on the UMass website. “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.

“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.”

In this video, Lynn Fries interviews Pollin on GPEnewsdocs.

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