Beyond the Coal Rush: A Turning Point for Global Energy and Climate Policy?

7 December 2020

The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) is delighted to announce the publication of Beyond the Coal Rush: A Turning Point for Global Energy and Climate Policy?  (Cambridge University Press), co-authored by Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli from CPR, along with James Goodman, Linda Connor, Devleena Ghosh, Jonathan Paul Marshall, Katja Mueller, Tom Morton, Rebecca Pearse, and Stuart Rosewarne.

Climate change makes fossil fuels unburnable, yet global coal production has almost doubled over the last 20 years. This book analyses how global climate discourses speak to national policy contexts in India, Germany and Australia. Through in-depth comparative ethnography, it shows how local people in these three countries are fighting to save their homes, livelihoods, and environments, creating new constituencies and alliances for the transition from fossil fuels. The book relates these struggles to conflicts between global climate policy and the national coal-industrial expansions. With coal's meaning transformed from an important asset to a threat, and the coal industry declining, this volume explores reasons behind the  continued dependence on coal, and if and how it can be overcome.

Speaking on the importance of the book, Manju Menon said, “The coal ‘addictions’ of the three countries analysed in this volume offer valuable insights into why a transition from coal will take much more than better climate and energy policies. Coal is rooted in the national and regional historical and political contexts, and the fight against it, the book shows, is deeply personal and social at the same time.”

Kanchi Kohli added, “India’s most marginalized communities are at the frontline of opposition to coal extraction. Although as policy researchers we speak of a transition,  for communities living in coal geographies, even the available constitutional and legal provisions are barely able to protect their rights. ”

The book will provide a source of inspiration for energy transition for researchers in environment, sustainability, and politics, as well as policymakers.

The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.