Highlights from the RFF & EDF report “Enabling Fairness for Energy Workers and Communities in Transition: A Review of Federal Policy Options and Principles for a Just Transition in the United States”

This post notes some highlights from the new Resources for the Future and Environmental Defense Fund report reviewing policy options for a just transition off fossil fuels in the United States.

A just transition is “fairness for workers and communities in a transition
to a low–greenhouse gas emissions economy,” with a focus on workers and communities reliant on the production and consumption of coal, oil, and fossil gas.

Key findings

  1. There’s no single policy solution. Multiple and customizable policies are needed (see next section).
  2. Policy must be coordinated or “harmonized” across jurisdictions.
  3. Planning must start now. Policies must address both short- and long-term outcomes.
  4. Policymaking processes must be equitable and inclusive.
  5. Policy must address revenue government revenue losses.

Just transition policies considered in the report

  • Job training and career services for transition workers
  • Minimum standards for employment benefits, job safety, and worker rights
  • Engaging and supporting employers
  • Supporting skills development and technology investment in public and private organizations
  • Investment in community public services to increase business development
  • Support for entrepreneurs like low-interest loans
  • Support for financial institutions that service entrepreneurial ventures
  • Funding to clean up industrial pollution
  • Investment in public infrastructure, especially water services and broadband internet
  • Direct cash payments or tax credits to low-income households
  • Subsidies for healthcare, food, and housing needs
Figure ES1 JT Synthesis.png