Thurber talks at UBC about coal

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PESD Associate Director Mark Thurber speaks at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC about findings from his new book Coal.
Photo credit: 
Stanford University

On September 17, PESD Associate Director Mark Thurber spoke at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, BC about findings from his new book Coal (available on Amazon). 

Coal burning is the largest single contributor to anthropogenic climate change, and it's also responsible for a host of regional and local impacts including serious air pollution. The challenge is that many developing countries still lean on coal as the cheapest and most accessible fuel for rapidly scaling their energy sectors. Coal also provides, directly and indirectly, sorely-needed livelihoods for millions of people around the world.

Along with UBC professors Kathryn Harrison and Philippe Le Billon, Thurber considered the challenge of transitioning away from coal in a way that avoids leaving displaced coal workers behind. He urged the audience to be "climate hawks" instead of "renewables hawks," prioritizing greenhouse gas emissions reductions over our favorite technological solutions, and to be "livelihoods hawks" instead of "green livelihoods hawks," recognizing that jobs of any kind are of paramount importance to those without them.

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