Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 November 2020
Chapter 8 develops a series of comparative themes from the experience of coal and climate change in India, Australia and Germany. In each country, we find that coal’s legitimacy crisis has created sharp contradictions in wider society, as well as within state institutions, and that local contests over new mines are rapidly undermining the social value of coal. Coal’s value to ‘development’ reflects its cultural narration as a valuable commodity and source of energy and in concluding we chart the way these narratives are contested, and are changing. In particular the chapter shows how anti-coal groups have gained strategic traction in the context of growing contradictions in national climate and energy policy. In this we return to the book’s initial provocation, expressed in the coal conundrum of increased coal extraction coupled with climate instability, arguing the conundrum is on the way to being resolved, for a post-coal future.