Sector Programme
Extractives and Development
coal transport in indonesia

26.06.2023 New study: Sustainable Transformation in Coal Regions of the Global South: Challenges from a Resource Nexus Perspective

The climate crisis requires a global energy transition away from fossil fuels. Coal still plays a significant role in developing countries' economies. A Just Energy Transition implies tackling all challenges that come with phasing out coal in a way that leaves no one behind. A new BMZ-commissioned study analyzes the perspectives for the Just Energy Transition in coal regions in Indonesia, Colombia, South Africa and Mozambique. The study was written by the United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES).

Coal-based electricity generation is the main source of greenhouse gases (GHG) worldwide. To mitigate the climate crisis, coal-based electricity generation should be reduced to 80% below 2010 levels by 2030. The complete coal phase-out should occur before 2040. Apart from coal´s global climate impacts, the local and regional impacts of coal production on water, land use, and other natural resources must also be considered in a Just Energy Transition.

Therefore, the resource nexus approach offers valuable insights into the relationships, interdependencies, and trade-offs between different natural resources. This study provides a resource nexus-based diagnosis of the coal value chain in the coal regions of Colombia, Indonesia, Mozambique, and South Africa. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the energy and coal sectors in the selected regions and the environmental impacts related to coal. It also identifies current policies, plans, programs, and regulations related to the possibilities of a Just Energy Transition. Chapter 2 describes both the challenges and opportunities identified through a resource nexus regarding environmental impacts, the energy transition, and employment. Chapter 3 presents the “lessons (to be) learned” by and from countries that have already partially or fully phased out coal. Chapter 4 provides recommendations drawn from the previous chapters.

You can find the UNU-FLORES study here (External link).