On this show we talk a lot about the “big switch” to zero-carbon energy sources. But there’s another kind of switch that needs to happen, too. You might have heard the term “just transition” before – the idea that as we make the switch to new energy sources, we also have to help transition the workers and communities that produce that energy to new sources of employment and revenue.

Planning for a just transition isn’t easy, but in Colorado, a group of state officials, coal workers, and environmentalists are trying to get it right. Colorado is the first state to officially create legislation and an office dedicated to just transition planning. This week, we take a look at how Colorado is  trying to make the just transition a reality for coal communities across the state. 

The Big Switch is produced by Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy in partnership with Post Script Media. This episode was produced by Daniel Woldorff and Alexandria Herr Theme music and mixing by Sean Marquand. Story editing by Anne Bailey. A special thanks to Natalie Volk and Kyu Lee. Our managing producer is Cecily Meza-Martinez. Our executive editor is Stephen Lacey.