Economic factors and existing policies have done a pretty good job of stopping the construction of new coal plants around the world, but what is needed to push existing plants off the grid? Our guest in this episode has been working to phase out coal from a variety of angles for the past 13 years, and believes the only approach that might still work is to just buy out existing plants and shut them down. But how? Where will the money come from? And if the money is public, how can we make sure that coal buyouts benefit the public, and not the big banks? How will we obtain the lowest price for the plants? How quickly can we execute the buyouts and retirements? How can we make sure that the power is replaced by clean power plants and not by natural gas-fired plants?
And what about the important related questions, like: What role should US government agencies like the Federal Reserve and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission play in implementing climate policy? What responsibility do major media organizations have to support the energy transition? And what about the so-called “just transition” away from coal? Is it real, or just a comforting talking point?
Join us in this discussion for some fresh new ideas and strategies that could help the world shut down the coal industry faster and more equitably, while delivering the best outcomes for the public.
Justin Guay is the Director for Global Climate Strategy at The Sunrise Project. Prior to joining Sunrise he managed grant-making and strategy development for global coal campaigns at the ClimateWorks Foundation and Packard Foundation. He has also run the Sierra Club’s International Coal Campaign as the Associate Director for the International Climate Program. He has lived and worked in Mumbai, India where he supported local community groups advocating for clean energy solutions and partnered closely with distributed solar companies serving poor communities.
On Twitter: @Guay_JG
On the web: Justin’s profile at The Sunrise Project
Recording date: September 22, 2021
Air date: November 24, 2021
Geek rating: 3