Michal Drabik


Chief of Section, Economic Affairs
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Mr. Michal Drabik holds MA and LL.M degrees in law from the University of Warsaw and UCLA respectively, as well as a MA degree in International Affairs with a focus on Energy from the Graduate Institute in Geneva. He has professional experience in law and fossil fuels-based energy. He has been working on these subjects in the international setting since 2008, serving at NGOs, diplomatic missions, and international organizations. Since 2015 Michal Drabik has been employed with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). He currently works as a Chief of Section, Economic Affairs in the Sustainable Energy Division and serves as the Secretary of the Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane and Just Transition. Since 2013 he has been a member of the New York State Bar.

Session 5
18 October 2023 / 09:30 - 11:00

Coal mining as a multi-purpose platform serving the needs of the emerging clean energy economies

It can be expected that ongoing decarbonization efforts will not only create new opportunities and employment across all economic sectors but will also have certain disruptive effects on carbon intensive industries, regions that host them, and communities, the wellbeing of which depends on their existence. Recognizing coal mining not as simply a source of fuel, but a multi-purpose platform that can serve the needs of the emerging clean energy economies by providing chemical feedstock and sources of critical raw materials, offers an opportunity to not only save jobs but also to create new ones. Reassessing the mineral resources that are co-located with coal and adjusting mining to reflect new paradigms avoid the majority of the negative environmental impacts caused by the current end use of coal, prevent expected cultural and social shocks, and recover certain otherwise locked or unevaluated resources to finance the transformation process, thus significantly broadening the range of opportunities for just transition strategies.