Authors: Hesketh, P; Ma, A; Kiviet, E

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Hesketh, P, Ma, A & Kiviet, E 2022, 'Initiating a just transition in response to a low-carbon energy transition in coalfield communities, Western Ukraine', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 577-588,

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The overarching aim for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow was to ‘keep 1.5 degrees alive’, meaning essentially the rapid phase-out of power production from coal and an end to coal mining. Although considerable investment is happening in renewable energy and hydrogen production, experience shows that coal communities will be adversely impacted, and long-term socio-economic effects will prevail if Just Transition considerations are not developed as a part of the closure planning process. Areas of eastern Europe still retain significant employment in coal mining. Ukraine has two principal coal mining regions: the LvivVolyn and Donetsk basins. Since 2014, the parts of the Donbas, where the Donetsk basin is located, have been occupied by separatist forces, while the Lviv-Volyn basin in the west of the country straddles the Polish border. Significant local impacts have been foreseen relating to coal mine closure and the development of stakeholder-led masterplans for repurposing and transition of mine sites to a new industry provides an example of how the potential impacts of the low-carbon energy transition can be mitigated. This paper provides details on the key issues associated with building and implementing this approach.

Keywords: coal, just transition, stakeholder engagement, master planning, mining

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