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The Coal Challenge
Climate Change, Employment, and Energy Politics

Wednesday  |  January 22, 2020  |  5 - 7pm
Faculty of Business and Economics (
WWZ)  |  University of Basel

Photos: Robert Stürmer / Stürmer Foto /

Public Event 

On Jan 22,  we welcomed more than 100 participants at the Coal Challenge symposium at the University of Basel.


Thank you all for making this a lively, interactive session. We want to extend our special thanks to the 17 members of Gymnasium Münchenstein for being an active part of the audience!

Check out:

Panel Discussion Summary

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Courtesy of SNIS.

Related Media - Expert Workshop

Video [18.17]

Jan. 22, 2020

Session filmed by SNIS. "#COALSTAKE - Catherine Saget (ILO) on the Implications on Employment of Phasing Out Coal"

Did you know that the public event on Jan 22, 2020, was part of a 3-day expert workshop on coal policy hosted by COALSTAKE? Before and after the event, about 30 invited experts from policy, industry, and academia were discussing developments around coal in countries like Australia, Canada, Germany, and Japan. Here, you can watch videos related to the expert workshop.

Related media
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Event flyer [PDF]

Event Flyer & Program

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What did we aim to discuss at the event?

Coal accounts for 28% of the global primary energy supply, and coal-fired power generation is the single largest source of CO2 emissions. To meet the Paris climate goals, a large part of the world’s coal reserves must remain unused. This is why many countries are considering policies to discontinue the mining and/or use of coal. However, while some countries have already adopted concrete strategies to phase out coal, others have not even brought the issue on to the political agenda. Where do these differences come from?


The symposium ‘The Coal Challenge‘ brought together experts from international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), energy industry, and academia to discuss a changing investment landscape in the light of national decisions on coal in advanced industrialized countries. The focus of the debate included the constellations under which the relevant stakeholders (energy companies, trade associations, local governments, NGOs, etc.) can or cannot agree on pathways to phase out coal. We also focused on the role of local coal industries, their positioning in global resource trade, and the perspectives for employees in times of structural change. Ultimately, sustainable and politically feasible coal policies are not possible without addressing these challenges.

Event Host - Project COALSTAKE

The project COALSTAKE, the host of this symposium, is funded by SNIS (Swiss Network for International Studies) running from October 2019. The project is coordinated by Prof. Aya Kachi of the University of Basel and Dr. Adrian Rinscheid of the University of St.Gallen.




Dr. Barbara Dubach

Founder and Managing Director, engageability

Dr. Barbara Dubach, founder and managing director of engageability, has a longstanding, international industry and management experience with a flair for energy- and resource- intensive industries. She has a broad knowledge with the following core competencies: strategy and materiality assessment, risk and crisis management, stakeholder engagement, facilitation and moderation of events and stakeholder dialogues, evaluation and impact assessment as well as knowledge transfer and communication. Between 1997 and 2010 she held various management positions at Holcim Ltd (today LafargeHolcim) in Switzerland and abroad during the last 7 years as Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development Coordination and Corporate Social Responsibility and before that she was seconded to the WBCSD as Advocacy and Communications Director.


She holds a Ph.D. in Managing Environmental Communication in Multinational Companies, University of St. Gallen and a M.A. in economics and business, University of Zurich. 

(Photo credit: Blick/Thomas Meier)


Prof. Tomas Kåberger

Professor for Industrial Energy Policy, Chalmers University of Technology

Dr Tomas Kåberger is affiliate professor of Industrial Energy Policy at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg and Industrial Growth Executive at the Scandinavian office of InnoEnergy. In addition he serves as Executive Board Chairman of Renewable Energy Institute in Tokyo and as senior advisor to GEIDCO in Beijing. He is appointed by the Swedish government as member of the Swedish Climate Policy Council and to the board of Vattenfall. The Norwegian Government has appointed him to the board of the Research Council of Norway. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and The Swedish Association of Energy Economists. He has held leading positions in companies working with bio-, wind- and solar energy. In the 1990s he was a member of the government energy commission launching the re-regulated electricity market in Sweden. From 2008-2011 he was Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.


Dr. Catherine Saget

Chief of Unit, Research Department, International Labour Office (ILO)

Catherine Saget is a Chief of Unit with the Research department of the International Labour Office (ILO). She was the lead author of the ILO yearly flagship report World and Employment Social Outlook 2018 Greening with Jobs ( and the 2019 report on the impact of heat stress on productivity and decent work. She has also contributed to the setting up of a unit on wages within the ILO and had worked on employment policies at times of economic crisis. She was the Senior Employment Specialist of the ILO Office in Delhi. As an Economist with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, she participated in the OECD thematic review on youth employment policies. She holds a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute in Florence (Italy).


Prof. Mark Jaccard

Director & Distinguished Professor

School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

Mark is a professor since 1986 in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, interrupted in 1992-97 when he served as Chair of the BC Utilities Commission. His PhD in energy economics is from the University of Grenoble, and his research focus is the design and application of energy-economy models for assessing climate policies. Internationally, Mark has served on the IPCC, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, and the Global Energy Assessment, and domestically on the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy and the BC Climate Action Team. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the CD Howe Institute, and in 2009 was named BC Academic of the Year by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations. In 2006, his Sustainable Fossil Fuels won the Donner Prize. He is one of only eight professors at Simon Fraser University awarded the title, Distinguished Professor. His new book, The Citizen’s Guide for Climate Success, appears in  February 2020 with Cambridge University Press.


(on twitter @MarkJaccard and blogging at


Prof. Kai Niebert

Member, German Coal Commission

President, German League for Nature

Sustainability Researcher, Univ. of Zurich

Kai Niebert (*1979) is father of two boys, mountaineer and professor at the University of Zurich. His fields of expertise lie in the analysis of public perceptions on sustainability issues like climate change, biodiversity loss and the planetary boundaries. His main thesis is that the global challenges can only be accounted politically, therefore he sees the role of education in preparing citizens for political participation.

Next to his scientific engagement he is president of the German League for Nature, the umbrella organisation of the German environmental NGOs with 11 million members. Kai was member of the Commission for Growth, structural change and employment („coalcommission“).

More information: |


Dr. Dylan Tanner

Executive Director, InfluenceMap

Prior to co-founding climate change think tank InfluenceMap, Dylan established a market-leading environmental consultancy in Tokyo which is now ERM Japan. Dylan grew and led a 50-person team engaging in a wide variety of corporate and technical advisory work in Japan and Asia covering environmental audits, land remediation, corporate sustainability and climate strategies. Prior to founding ERM Japan, Dylan established a information-based consulting firm advising global corporations on emerging environmental issues in Asia-Pasific. Dylan grew up in Japan and is currently living in London. He holds a MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College and a PhD in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics from Kings College London.

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