Historically, abrupt change associated with coal and industrial transitions brings a heavy price for workers and communities because regional economies and labour markets can’t always cope.
Coal communities tend to be economically dependent on mining, and the winding down of coal industry would have flow-on effects to local economies and businesses that could be substantial. In some cases, as many as a third of workers could be struggling to find alternative work.
In coal mining, there is a high concentration of low and semi-skilled workers, and in Australia, 60% of coal mining workers are younger than 45 years old. Mining is well paid compared to other jobs, say in power stations or in other industries. If coal workers don’t lose their job through the transition away from fossil fuels, they could be facing a pay cut.