Energy and Climate Change: A Just Transition for Indian Labour
Due to the extent of unionization in India’s coal and other carbon-rich sectors, trade unions can resist a tide of privatization and play an active role in formulating a just transition that integrates worker and social concerns into climate responses. An Indian just transition will be located around the need to peak coal usage soon and transition to renewables, with the additional complication of protecting livelihoods, as India’s coal-rich states are also its poorest. This chapter puts forth that democratic, public and co-operative management of energy systems can prioritise social alongside climate concerns, as part of a wider industrial strategy to retrain workers and decarbonize industry. Climate change will also impact working conditions and workers’ health, with the burden likely falling on households. Access to social services in workplaces, streets, and homes becomes necessary to alleviate the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable.
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