Transitioning from coal in Australia

Excerpt from Al Gore in Australia, thinking about labor and the transition…

Gore said it would be a mistake not to acknowledge the “great debt” we all owe coal industry workers for building the economy throughout the past century.

But he said Australia, like the US, owed those workers and their communities “realistic and practical programs for job training and job placements in better jobs than the ones that used to exist in the coal industry”.

“Almost no one who really spends time with the economic data believes that those jobs will be practical in this new century,” he said.

“We [the US] are closing coal plants right and left. We are now beginning to close gas plants, to replace them with solar and wind. In the state of Texas there is so much wind electricity the new rate plans make electricity totally free from 9pm to 6am the next morning. How are fossil fuels going to compete with free? How are they going to compete with clean? The answer is – I don’t think they can.

“But where these employees are concerned, we owe them better jobs. We owe them a realistic set of options and plans, to move on into the future, with safe, clean good paying jobs that they deserve.”