Becond Coal, Oil and Gas - Designing a Socially Just and Economically Viable Phase-Out


On April 23-24, 2018, the Leibniz Research Alliance on Energy Transitions and the German Institute for Economic Research, DIW-Berlin, are jointly hosting a doctoral colloquium entitled "Beyond Coal, Gas and Oil - Designing a Socially Just and Economically Viable Phase-Out". Full information are available for download here.


The Leibniz Research Alliance on Energy Transitions regularly hosts doctoral colloquiums on specific topics relevant to energy transitions with one or more of its member institutes. The colloquium provides an opportunity for doctoral researchers to present their research questions, goals, designs and methods (and possibly also results), and discuss them with an interdisciplinary audience at an early point in their career. The colloquium is open to doctoral candidates at any stage of their dissertation project.

One of the major challenges confronting climate and energy policy-makers since the adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21 is the necessity to phase-out coal, natural gas and oil without compromising social and economic wellbeing. In order to stay within the limits of the remaining carbon budget, global coal, natural gas, and oil consumption need to be curbed drastically in the short- to medium-term. This transition, however, poses major economic, political and societal challenges. More than anything, the anticipated (re)distribution of social and economic prosperity within – and between – affected countries, regions, sectors, and actors call for coal, gas, and oil producing and consuming countries to design socially just and publically acceptable frameworks for upcoming (regional) fossil phase-outs.

Currently, many affected regions find themselves in political paralysis, because their economic dependence on and socio-cultural identification with the coal, gas and oil industries are so high that phase-outs spur massive popular resistance. People and businesses feel like they are at the losing end of international climate politics, and fiercely lobby against planned shut-downs. Oftentimes, their resistance is supported by local administrations, energy providers and unions. Against this backdrop, integrated strategies that ameliorate the socio-economic consequences of climate-related structural change and provide viable options for future development are needed.

In this context, the doctoral colloquium addresses three broad issues related to the fossil fuel phase out:

  1. technical-economic implications on energy transformation pathways, including national and regional energy security issues;
  2. tensions that arise between the necessity of phasing out fossil fuels and the socio-economic consequences that these phase-outs have on the affected regions; and
  3. macroeconomic imbalances and the danger that many of the affected countries suffer from the resource curse, or – worse – move in the direction of “failed states”.

The colloquium is open for up to ten participants from any academic discipline whose dissertation project relates to the above topic. Each participant will receive the opportunity to give a 15-minute presentation of his or her research project, receive specific feedback from a senior discussant, and then enter into a discussion with the broader audience, which will be comprised of other doctoral students and senior researchers from the Leibniz Research Alliance on Energy Transitions.

This year’s colloquium is headed by:
Dr. Pao-Yu Oei, Head of the Junior Research Group “CoalExit” at Berlin University of Technology (TU Berlin) in cooperation with the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the Humboldt-Universität of Berlin (HU Berlin) and the Hertie School of Governance.
Leslie Quitzow, coordinator of the Leibniz-Research Alliance on Energy Transitions at WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Please contact Leslie Quitzow in case of questions (see email above).

The two-day colloquium is scheduled to begin on the morning of Monday, April 23rd, 2018, and to end in the afternoon of Tuesday, April 24th, 2018. It will be kicked-off with keynotes by Prof. Dr. Claudia Kemfert (DIW Berlin and Hertie School of Governance) and Prof. Dr. Christian von Hirschhausen (DIW Berlin and TU Berlin). A detailed program including the names of all discussants will be circulated once you are accepted.

Travel costs
Travel costs for accepted participants, including train tickets and a maximum of two nights in a hotel will be covered by the Leibniz Research Alliance on Energy Transitions within the limits of the Bundesreisekostengesetz.