The Global Coal Transitions Research Network was established to bring together researchers focusing on the coal transition from different perspectives all around the world and coming from a variety of disciplines. The coal transition is multifaceted, with many different types of transitions, such as surface mine closure, subsurface mine closure, and power plant closure all having different effects with communities often dealing with multiple aspects of the coal transition occurring at the same time. The transition process can take years or even decades with many communities dealing with both long and short term impacts of different aspects of the coal transition. Further complicating transitions are macro policy and social factors that influence not only the coal and energy industries, but the communities where those industries have been based for generations. All of this leading to a complex situation where every community experiences the coal transition in their own unique way.
It is because of this complex situation that the Research Network was established to bring together researchers and individuals from around the world focusing on different aspects and timelines of the coal transitions to discuss the various types of impacts and how understanding the transition can better help the people affected by it. At the first workshop, the researchers noticed a number of similarities between their communities from around the globe, but also how the differences between those communities and impacts make each situation unique. The network aims to bring together an even wider set of perspectives, making a point to include those often left out in academic discussions, and coordinate and understand the state of the field and how our research can better impact the lives of those who are swept up in the coal transition.