There appears to be worrisome news for workers of Coal India. Globally, the coal industry is set to witness several mine closures as cheaper sources of power such as wind and solar power come to be more commonly used. The coal sector across countries will be hit depending on whether they have relevant policies in place and the kind of policies they adopt to phase out coal usage/mining.
This does not augur well for the 74,800 workers directly employed by Coal India whose jobs are in danger till 2050. It is said that for every direct workers, there are about four indirect workers in India’s coal sector.
Globally, there are about 4,300 active mines and projects that cumulatively account for over 90 per cent of the coal produced worldwide. As per statistics released by the Global Coal Mine Tracker — covering almost 2.7 million workers working in coal mines — about half a million workers will be rendered jobless in the mining space in the next decade or so. On average, about 100 workers may end up jobless by 2034, says a Global Energy Monitor report.
The maximum brunt of these mine closures will be borne by China and India. Asia alone employs about 2.2 million people in its coal mines. China accounts for over 1.5 million coal miners who produce more than 85 per cent of its coal, that is, 50 per cent of the global output.
Shanxi, Henan, and Inner Mongolia are the Chinese provinces that together account for more than one fourth of the global coal output. Naturally, they provide livelihood to 32 per cent of the coal miners, globally. This is equal to about 8.7 lakh people. India’s coal mines employ about 50 per cent of this number.