The government is “calling in” a controversial plan for a new deep coal mine in Cumbria, according to a letter seen by The Independent. Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, has decided to intervene in plans for the mine following “increased controversy” surrounding the application, the letter says. The project, which would be the UK’s first deep coal mine in 30 years, has faced opposition from leading climate scientists, activists and politicians since it was first proposed in 2019. The government has come under fire for refusing to intervene in the plans, which have been approved by Cumbria County Council on three separate occasions. Last month, the council announced that would review the plans again in light of “new information”.
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Minister accused of ‘bowing to climate terrorists’ in coal mine U-turn. Mark Jenkinson, the Conservative MP for nearby Workington, said in a statement: “This represents a complete reversal of the position taken just eight weeks ago, and a capitulation to climate alarmists.” He added that stopping the project would endanger the government’s “levelling-up” agenda as a whole. Jenkinson told his WhatsApp group that Jenrick had “bowed to climate terrorists” and described the decision as a “kick in the teeth”. Friends of the Earth said that the decision was “a startling, but very welcome U-turn”. Tom Fyans, director of policy at the CPRE, the countryside charity, said: “Ahead of COP26 . . . we hope this is the first of many decisions that show government can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”
Times 12th March 2021 read more »
Proponents of Cumbria’s proposed coal mine often point to its potential to create 500 new roles. But the county could create thousands of jobs and attract billions of pounds of investment if it opts, instead, to expand low-carbon sectors. That is according to a new report today (12 March) from local organisation Cumbria Action for Sustainability. The report outlines how 9,000 jobs could be created across the county in low-carbon sectors including renewable electricity generation and distribution; renewable heat; retrofitting buildings and sustainable waste management by 2035. Around half of these roles, the report stipulates, would be based in West Cumbria, where the UK’s first deep coal mine in more than three decades has been proposed. Of the 9,000 roles, renewable energy generation and infrastructure account for the biggest proportion – more than two-thirds. The report states that Cumbria could rapidly expand its onshore and offshore wind sectors, as well as solar, tidal and hydro, with the right support from government and the private sector. Authors of the report have been keen to emphasise that green jobs across the region will, by and large, be more permanent than those in extractives, which, by their very nature, have a finite lifespan. Most of the 9,000 roles will continue to exist after 2035 and, thereafter, an additional 3,800 roles could be created in supporting sectors like energy, the built environment and transport. Cumbria Action for Sustainability believes that the county could attract £8.8bn of investment in low-carbon sectors through to 2025, while also reducing its annual energy costs by £854m.
Edie 12th March 2021 read more »