Knowledge Resource - Research Articles

Unheard and Unseen: Mining Women in British India

Urvi Khaitan , Social History Society, UK
The lives of mining women in colonial India were marked by multiple marginalizations: as subjects, Adivasi or lower caste women, illiterate and extremely underpaid labourers working in isolated rural areas, and engaging in a profession that literally made them invisible by putting them underground. In this sense, they are women beneath the surface, both literally and figuratively. The nature of mining women's participation in coal mining in colonial India is described in this article.

Women beneath the Surface: Coal and the Colonial State in India during the Second World War

Urvi Khaitan
In British India, a six-year ban on women working underground was lifted in 1943 as a result of a quickly intensifying Allied coal crisis. Between August 1943 and February 1946, more than 70,000 low-caste and adivasi (indigenous) women saved the monthly loss of 385,000 tonnes of coal by maintaining output levels and fighting the war's-induced Bengal Famine. Their employment aroused enormous indignation from the general public, the press, and parliaments, leading for the first time to a transnational discourse on Indian women labourers. While this was going on, the desperate colonial authority threatened min

From Gin Girls to Scavengers: Women in Raniganj Collieries

Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
Women from lower caste and adivasi populations were initially employed by the coal mining business in various production phases. As long as technology remained labor-intensive and collieries remained tiny and surface-bound, their position remained crucial. Women's participation decreased as the sector grew and became more mechanised. This paper describes how the work of resource extraction becomes gendered, the increasing marginalisation of women, their alienation from access to environmental resources, and their transformation into illegitimate and invisible beings. It is based on research conducted in the

How to avoid unjust energy transitions: insights from the Ruhr region

Anmol Arora
This study outlines the two phases of transitions from coal in Germany with respective historical background. The case study of Ruhr is taken as a vantage point to present the implementation of legislations and policies reflecting ideals of just transitions. It shows the positive, and negative consequences of Ruhr’s transition away from coal.

Closing the enforcement gap: Groundtruthing of environmental violations in Sundargarh, Odisha

This report highlights the gaps between existing policies, and their implementation in the Sundargarh region. Case studies are presented along with information of legislation and policies violated representing group-reality. The report formulates needs of the community linking the issues faced with existing mechanisms to provide solutions.

We never imagined that coal will disappear one day!

Joshi S , TERI , TERI , 23 May 2021
The article explores the various dimensions that inform a just transition and the complexities involved in moving away from coal through a case study of Betul which has seen a spate of coal mine closures, due to mineral exhaustion.A case study by TERI, on the impact of the closure of coal mines in Betul, a district in Madhya Pradesh with a mining history of 150 years, sheds light on these issues and the growing need to recognize 'just transition' when moving away from coal. The study observed that by 2030, 46% of the workforce strength of 2019 that is employed in mining in Betul, will retire

Assessing Vulnerability from Coal Dependence and Need for a Just Transition

Bhattacharjya, S., Gupta, R., Mini, G., Chaudhury, S., Juneja, M., Sharma, K , TERI , TERI , 23 Jun 2021
Since the earliest times when coal was mined, it has played a central role in the regional and local economies. It induced growth around its milieu, be it revenue receipt of the state, urbanization, governance institutions, infrastructural development, amongst others. Hence coal has not just contributed in economic growth, but many of thedevelopment objectives could not have been achieved without the contribution of (coal-based) fossil fuels. Industrialization has primarily driven the manufacturing sector and created jobs and value added along the supply chains of material goods.

Harnessing opportunities for a Just Transition in India’

Bhattacharjya, S, Gupta R, Mini G, Chaudhury S, Juneja M, Sharma K , TERI , TERI , 23 Jun 2021
India’s need for clean and affordable energy is extremely critical for supporting economic activities and for addressing numerous developmental challenges faced by the country. The earlier paper had undertaken a deep investigation of the linkages that surround the Indian coal economy and the possible economic, societal and cultural implications particularly in mining rich states as we may witness phasing out coal. The aspect of ‘Just Transition’ and it’s concomitance with the energy transition in India becomes imperative.

Coal transition in India

Spencer T, Pachouri R, Renjith G,i Vohra S , TERI 10 Dec 2018
India is the second most populous country in the world with 1.3 billion people in 2017, and its population is projected to increase to 1.5 billion by 2030. The Indian economy is one of the fastest growing major economies of the world. Over the last seven years the GDP growth rate has averaged 7.3%, and is projected to be in the order of 7.9% over the coming five years. India is still a lowi ncome country with high levels of material deprivation for large shares of its population.

Enabling a Rapid and Just Transition Away from Coal in China

He G, Lin J, Zhang Y et al. , Elsevier Inc. , One Earth 3( 2): 187-194p. , 31 Dec 2019
As the world's largest coal producer and consumer, China's transition from coal to cleaner energy sources is critical for achieving global decarbonization. Increasing regulations on air pollution and carbon emissions and decreasing costs of renewables drive China's transition away from coal; however, this transition also has implications for employment and social justice. Here, we assess China's current coal-transition policies, their barriers, and the potential for an accelerated transition, as well as the associated environmental, human health, and employment and social justice issues that may arise from the tr

Comparing Coal Phase-out Pathways: The United Kingdom’s and Germany’s Diverging Transitions

Brauers H, Oei P-Y, Walk P , Elsevier B.V. , Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 37 (2020) 238–253p. , 30 Sep 2020
Political decisions and trends regarding coal use for electricity generation developed differently in the UK and Germany, despite being subject to relatively similar climate protection targets and general political and economic conditions. The UK agreed on a coal phase-out by 2024. In Germany, a law schedules a coal phase-out by 2038 at the latest. This paper investigates reasons for the different developments and aims to identify main hurdles and drivers of coal phase-outs by using the Triple Embeddedness Framework. The comparative case study approach reveals that policy outcomes regarding coal consumption are d

Just Transition in Coal: A Perspective from Jharkhand

Bhushan C, Banerjee S, Agarwal S , Sameeksha Trust (India) , Economic & Political Weekly 56(29) , 16 Jul 2021
The article discusses why it is an imperative for India to begin deliberation on a just transition from coal in light of some of the compelling factors. It then evaluates what a just transition in India might entail building on an on-ground study of a coal district in Jharkhand, one of India’s top coal mining states. And finally, it outlines the planning and policy considerations that will be necessary to support a just transition.

The Sociopolitical Dynamics of Coal Transition in India 

Janardhanan N, Tamura K , SAGE Publishing , International Studies 57(2): 171-185p. , 26 Apr 2020
Energy transition has been gaining significant policy attention in India, especially in the backdrop of the concerns about growing emissions from fossil fuels and the need for cleaner energy services. However, this has been one of the strategic dilemmas for the country. On the one hand, the increasing demand for fossil fuels is prompting critical policy actions to minimize the energy-related emissions and reduce the dependency on the same. On the other hand, the national economic targets that demand high growth have been pivotal in pushing the energy demand growth and have also been unable to shift away from the

Review of Transition Paths for Coal-fired Power Plants

Song F, Mehedi H, Liang C. et al. , Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization. Pr , Global Energy Interconnection, 4(4): 354-370p. , 24 Aug 2021
The energy sector has an essential role in limiting the global average temperature increase to below 2 °C. Redirecting and advancing technological progress contribute to carbon-free transition solutions. Energy transition is currently one of the most debated issues in the world. This paper reviews and summarizes the current policy projections and their assumptions organized by some major countries in the energy sector, particularly in the coal sector, and provides a detailed discussion on specific and significant socio-technical pathways taken by countries to achieve zero-carbon targets

Transition to Clean Coal Technologies in India

Patil AC , Elsevier Inc. , Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, 27: 1731-1736p. , 31 Dec 2008
India has the third largest proven reserves of coal in the world and it is obvious that coal will play a major role in its future development. It is well documented that coal is not an environmentally friendly fuel, unless it is utilized in cooperation with clean coal technologies. This paper uses the Transition Management approach to devise a framework for the transition towards clean coal technologies in India. The concept of Transition Management is firmly rooted in the traditions of system thinking that highlights the co-evolution of the socio-technical systems.

The Future of Coal in a Carbon-Constrained Climate

Jakob M, Steckel JC, Jotzo F, et al. , Springer Nature , Nature Climate Change, 10(8): 704-707 , 26 Jul 2020
Phasing out coal requires expanding the notion of a ‘just transition’ and a roadmap that specifies the sequence of coal plant retirement, the appropriate policy instruments as well as ways to include key stakeholders in the process.

India’s New Coal Geography: Coastal Transformations, Imported Fuel and State-Business Collaboration in the Transition to More Fossil Fuel Energy

Oskarsson P, Nielsen KB, Lahiri-Dutt K, Roy B , ELsevier Ltd. T , Energy Research & Social Science, 73, 101903: 1-10p. , 28 Feb 2021
The advance of renewable energy around the world has kindled hopes that coal-based energy is on the way out. Recent data, however, make it clear that growing coal consumption in India coupled with its continued use in China keeps coal-based energy at 40 percent of the world’s heat and power generation. To address the consolidation of coal-based power in India, this article analyses an energy transition to, rather than away from, carbon-intensive energy over the past two decades. We term this transition India’s new coal geography; the new coal geography comprises new ports and thermal power plants run

Accelerating the Coal Transition

Chattopadhyay D, Bazilian MD, Handler B, Govindarajalu C , Elsevier Inc. , Electricity Journal, 34(2), 106906 , 31 Dec 2020
The cost of wind, solar, and most recently battery storage has fallen dramatically over the last decade, providing the economic rationale for their widespread adoption to help mitigate climate change. This, coupled with the low cost of natural gas, has provided a key challenge in the power sector: how to economically and equitably decommission ∼2000 GW of installed coal capacity? Although a significant part of the existing coal capacity is older, inefficient, and unprofitable, there are complex technical, social and economic challenges that remain. This Comment provides a general framework for the key techn

Coal Transitions—Part 1: A Systematic Map and Review of Case Study Learnings from Regional, National, and Local Coal Phase-Out Experiences

Diluiso F, Walk P, Manych Net al. , IOP Publishing , Environmental Research Letters16, 113003: 1-47 p , 20 Oct 2021
A rapid coal phase-out is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, but is hindered by serious challenges ranging from vested interests to the risks of social disruption. To understand how to organize a global coal phase-out, it is crucial to go beyond cost-effective climate mitigation scenarios and learn from the experience of previous coal transitions. Despite the relevance of the topic, evidence remains fragmented throughout different research fields, and not easily accessible. To address this gap, this paper provides a systematic map and comprehensive review of the literature on historical coal transit