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7 - Coal in a Climate-Constrained World

The Last Gasp?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2020

James Goodman
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Linda Connor
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
Devleena Ghosh
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Kanchi Kohli
Affiliation:
Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Jonathan Paul Marshall
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Manju Menon
Affiliation:
Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Katja Mueller
Affiliation:
Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Tom Morton
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Rebecca Pearse
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
Stuart Rosewarne
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
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Summary

Chapter 7 takes the historical analysis into the present day and charts a significant unravelling in the coal-industrial complex. Investor uncertainty about the future viability of energy installations has shifted into a dramatic (and long-awaited) process of capital flight from coal to renewables. Perhaps most revealing, the coal sector itself has begun hedging its losses by investing in renewables. The chapter discusses the reasons for this shift. The Paris Agreement’s 2050 deadline for ‘net-zero carbon’, which, at the time of writing in 2019, was well within the investor horizon for coal-fired power plants, has imposed a growing perception of risk associated with coal facilities. It has also precipitated an unexpected realignment of low-income economies to seek new industrial strategies linked to the renewables sectors, creating a new state-renewables nexus to rival coal.

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Chapter
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Beyond the Coal Rush
A Turning Point for Global Energy and Climate Policy?
, pp. 196 - 214
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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