In a carbon-constrained world, coal faces many immediate challenges. However, the positive impacts of coal-related activities are often overlooked, such as the creation of employment and economic wealth. Evidence shows that the wealth generated from coal-related activities can spread widely across the economy. For local governments, tax receipts and royalties from coal production provide a valuable source of funding for public services.
The construction and operation of coal-fired power projects in developing countries provide a significant boost to local economies in the form of employment, income, health and community services. The value of these positive economic impacts has been assessed for parts of Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, and the USA. Coal also has a role in many other applications; for example, fly ash from coal-fired power stations is used in the manufacture of cement, and metallurgical coal for steel production. Understanding the value of coal activities in a country or region where coal is in decline will help policymakers consider the measures needed to minimise adverse impacts on communities.
The Economic and Strategic Value of Coal