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The Threat of Layoffs in the Coal Industry is Increasingly Real, ESDM Opens its Voice

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has opened its voice regarding the threat of termination of employment (PHK), especially in the coal mining sector. This quotes the Global Energy Monitor report as the world is increasingly switching from the use of fossil energy to new and renewable energy (EBT). 

Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Dadan Kusdiana said he did not deny that the energy transition would have an impact on workers in the mining sector. Therefore, the government has prepared anticipatory steps to deal with this condition.

“It cannot be denied that if coal is reduced, the workforce will also be reduced, which is why we have prepared a special working group within JETP to discuss the issue of workforce,” said Dadan.

Apart from labor, the government also assesses that by switching to clean energy use, state revenues will also decrease. Moreover, so far the realization of state revenues from this black gold commodity has also been quite large.

“Not only does state revenue from labor force also decrease, but not getting royalties from coal production, the amount of royalties decreases, regional income also decreases. This is all included in our study,” he said.

However, Dadan is optimistic that the EBT industry in the future will also open up more job opportunities. For example, such as the development of Solar Power Plants (PLTS).

“If we develop solar power plants, the employment of workers will be greater, if we count the production chain from to the generator,” he said.

Previously, in the latest Global Energy Monitor report, it was recorded that there were 2.7 million direct workers in coal mines operating throughout the world. Well, by 2035 the coal industry will lose almost half a million jobs, with estimates that an average of 100 workers per day will be laid off.

Global Coal Mine Tracker Project Manager, Dorothy Mei, stated that the energy transition in the world cannot avoid the closure of coal mines in the world, this will also of course have an impact on the social conditions of workers.

“Good transition planning is underway, as in Spain where the country regularly reviews the impact of ongoing decarbonization. The government must take inspiration from their success in planning a just energy transition strategy,” he explained as reported by Global Energy Monitor, quoted on Wednesday ( 11/10/2023).

The report also revealed that most of these workers were in Asia, namely 2.2 million jobs. The countries that produce the largest coal in the world, such as China and India, are expected to bear the greatest impact from the closure of coal mines.

China has more than 1.5 million coal miners producing more than 85% of its coal, which accounts for half of world production. Shanxi, Henan and Inner Mongolia provinces produce more than a quarter of the world’s coal and employ 32% of the global mining workforce of 870,400 people.

India, the world’s second-largest coal producer, has a workforce about half the size of China’s Shanxi province. The country officially employs around 337,400 miners in operating mines.

In fact, one of the coal companies in India, Coal India, faces the largest potential layoffs, namely 73,800 direct workers in 2050.

Source : CNBC