Successful coal phase-out requires new models of development

Different energy sources have different spillovers on economic development and industrialization. Pathways of economic development based on renewable energy sources might require additional policies to support industrial development.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Coal use across space and time.
Fig. 2: Changes in poverty rates against the share of coal in total power capacity additions.

References

  1. 1.

    Luderer, G. et al. Nat. Clim. Chang. 8, 626–633 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Glaeser, E. L., Kerr, S. P. & Kerr, W. R. Rev. Econ. Stat. 97, 498–520 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Stanaway, J. D. et al. Lancet 392, 1923–1994 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    GBD MAPS Working Group Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Air Pollution Sources in China (Health Effects Institute, 2016).

  5. 5.

    GBD MAPS Working Group Burden of Disease Attributable to Major Air Pollution Sources in India (Health Effects Institute, 2018).

  6. 6.

    Coady, D., Parry, I. W. H. & Shang, B. Rev. Environ. Econ. Policy 12, 197–219 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Somananthan, E. & Chakravarty, S. There is no economic case for new coal plants in India. In Proc. 24th Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 13 (EAERE, 2019).

  8. 8.

    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide (National Academies Press, 2017).

  9. 9.

    Pindyck, R. S. J. Environ. Econ. Manag. 94, 140–160 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Burke, P. J., Stern, D. I. & Bruns, S. B. Int. Rev. Environ. Resour. Econ. 12, 85–127 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    van de Walle, D., Ravallion, M., Mendiratta, V. & Koolwal, G. World Bank Econ. Rev. 31, 385–411 (2017).

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Lipscomb, M., Mobarak, A. M. & Barham, T. Am. Econ. J. Appl. Econ. 5, 200–231 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Khandker, S., Barnes, D. F. & Samad, H. Econ. Dev. Cult. Change 61, 659–692 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Litzow, E. L., Pattanayak, S. K. & Thinley, T. World Dev. 121, 75–96 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Bos, K., Chaplin, D. & Mamun, A. Energy Sustain. Dev. 44, 64–77 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Lenz, L., Munyehirwe, A., Peters, J. & Sievert, M. World Dev. 89, 88–110 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Lee, K., Miguel, E. & Wolfram, C. J. Polit. Econ. https://doi.org/10.1086/705417 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Grimm, M., Munyehirwe, A., Peters, J. & Sievert, M. World Bank Econ. Rev. 31, 631–649 (2016).

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Rodrik, D. J. Econ. Growth 21, 1–33 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Hunt, E. H. J. Econ. Hist. 46, 935–966 (1986).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    World Electric Power Plants Database. S&P Global https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/products-services/electric-power/world-electric-power-plants-database (2017).

  22. 22.

    Liu, A. A. J. Environ. Econ. Manag. 66, 656–670 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Franks, M., Lessmann, K., Jakob, M., Steckel, J. C. & Edenhofer, O. Nat. Sustain. 1, 350–357 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Jakob, M. & Steckel, J. C. Environ. Res. Lett. 11, 104010 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Shearer, C., Mathew-Shaw, N., Myllyvirta, L., Yu, A. & Nace, T. Boom and Bust 2019 Tracking the global coal plant pipeline (Global Energy Monitor, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, 2019).

  26. 26.

    Boden, T., Andres, R. & Marland, G. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO 2 Emissions (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, 2017); https://cdiac.ess-dive.lbl.gov/trends/emis/tre_glob_2014.html

  27. 27.

    Bolt, J. & Van Zanden, J. L. Econ. Hist. Rev. 67, 627–651 (2014).

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Poverty gap at $3.20 a day (2011 PPP) (%). World Bank https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.LMIC.GP (2019).

Download references

Acknowledgements

L.M., M.K. and J.C.S. acknowledge financial support by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, funding code 01LA1828B (ROCHADE). M.J., J.P. and J.C.S. acknowledge funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, funding code 01LA1807A-C (DECADE).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jan Christoph Steckel.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kalkuhl, M., Steckel, J.C., Montrone, L. et al. Successful coal phase-out requires new models of development. Nat Energy 4, 897–900 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-019-0500-5

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing