Network claims options for coalminers when jobs end

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 14:19 01/08/2014

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The transition from coalmining to renewable energy could create jobs in the south, environmental proponents say.

Coal Action Network Aotearoa members Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rosemary Penwarden were at Venture Southland in Invercargill yesterday to discuss a report about jobs after coalmining and alternatives to coal.

There were several options for jobs in the industries that would replace coal, and the skills of coalminers were transferable to other industries, Fitzsimons said.

The Jobs After Coal report says the renewable energy sector has become a significant employer worldwide with the potential for adding millions of jobs in the next few years, and wind power-related employment has doubled in the past five years. The transition could create jobs in several industries, including home insulation, wood waste, public transport and conservation.

Before the discussion yesterday, former politician Fitzsimons said the country needed to talk about phasing out coalmining because of its impact on climate change, among other issues.

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