Photo: Donald Giannatti /Unsplash

Coal production and use must decline quickly due to its high contribution to global warming. The Production Gap Report calculates that at the international level, by 2030, countries plan to produce 150% more coal than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 280% more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.

Fossil fuel-producing regions in Colombia face the challenge of diversifying the regional economy, moving away from fossil fuel production, and increasing overall development. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis has made these vulnerabilities even more acute, and are a warning for what faces fossil-fuel producing regions in the context of climate change and the energy transition.

STI policy can play an important role in planning for transitions away from fossil fuel production at the subnational level in a way that builds resilience and sustainability into the economy and protects workers,  and communities, but much work needs to be done to develop this approach. This project aims to support transitions away from coal in Colombia by enhancing economic diversification efforts through regional STI policy, through specific analysis of the Cesar, Guajira, and Magdalena departments. It will also strengthen collaboration between organizations working on coal transitions in Colombia and academic and public institutions working with STI in coal-producing regions.

Other regions and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have similar challenges in moving away from fossil fuel production and towards a diversified economy, but also opportunities to create green, sustainable jobs. This project will highlight strategies for leveraging development planning, in particular around STI, toward just transitions and provide lessons for other fossil-fuel dependent regions in Colombia, Latin America, and beyond.