Chair of the Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane and Just Transition
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Raymond C. Pilcher is President of Raven Ridge Resources Incorporated and has worked in the global energy and mining industries for more than 40 years. His international experience in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa comprises exploration and sustainable development of energy and mineral resources. Mr. Pilcher advises private and public sector clients on projects aimed at reducing methane emissions at active and closed coal mines and at oil and gas facilities. For more than 25 years, he provided a range of expertise to USEPA’s Climate Protection Program as a contractor engaged in feasibility analysis, outreach, and policy issues related to reducing fugitive methane emissions from the global coal mining sector. He consults for the World Bank as a part of its global effort to develop coal mine closure standards which provide guidance for decommissioning mines in an environmentally responsible manner and set the stage for a just and equitable transition. As the Chair of the UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane and Just Transition and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Sustainable Energy, Mr. Pilcher works to encourage safe and environmentally responsible project development aimed at an inclusive circular economy with a sustainable future.
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.