More than 9,000 green jobs could be created in Cumbria, according to a report, far more than the 500 jobs promised by a planned coalmine in the county. The report was published the day after the communities secretary reversed his original decision that the mine did not conflict with national policy and was a local matter. Robert Jenrick cited rising controversy and new climate advice as reasons for the U-turn. The government had been criticised by its own climate advisers and leading scientists for failing to block the coalmine, which would produce fuel for steel production rather than electricity generation.
Guardian 12th March 2021 read more »
A new coal mine certainly doesn’t sound green, but West Cumbria Mining has tried to make an environmental case for its Woodhouse Colliery. The mine near Whitehaven would produce coking coal, which is used in steel-making — not thermal coal, burnt in power stations. To make steel, the coking coal is heated to produce a purer, harder fuel called coke, which is then added to a blast furnace with iron ore. The process generates significant emissions, but at the moment there is no easy alternative. The Climate Change Committee (CCC), the government’s official adviser, says that the mine would not only increase domestic emissions through its operations, making it harder to meet Britain’s net zero goal, but would also lead to an increase in global emissions. The Cumbrian coal may replace some American coal in British steelmaking, but that only helps global emissions if all the US coal that was going to be used here stays in the ground and the total global supply of coal doesn’t increase. The CCC says that the Cumbrian mine would in fact “increase the global supply of coking coal, making it cheaper and increasing the overall use”. The additional emissions from even a tiny increase in global coal usage would far outstrip those saved on shipping.
Times 12th March 2021 read more »
Mr Jenrick’s change of mind has now been revealed in a letter from his department to the council. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government wrote that Mr Jenrick had “decided to call this application in because of the further developments since his original decision” The letter highlighted recent work by the Climate Change Committee, the UK’s independent adviser on climate change, which has previously warned a new deep coking coal mine in Cumbria will increase global emissions.
Sky News 12th March 2021 read more »
Great news that Robert Jenrick the Communities Secretary of State has called in the coal mine plan for a public inquiry. This must be a no holds barred inquiry which includes nuclear impacts and vested nuclear interests of government rather than the limited Punch and Judy show we have witnessed so far. We will be lobbying government to ensure nuclear impacts are given at least equal status to climate impacts within the scope of the inquiry. Terms of Reference for this public inquiry MUST include Nuclear.
Radiation Free Lakeland 12th March 2021 read more »
A public inquiry is to be held into plans for the UK’s first new deep coalmine in decades after the communities secretary “called in” the decision on the project, taking it out of the hands of local government. Although “landscape considerations” took precedence over climate concerns in the Druridge Bay inquiry, campaigners say they are hopeful that the government’s climate commitments will be central to the Cumbria inquiry. The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s statutory advisers, urged a 78% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions by 2035 in order to meet the government’s legally binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050. The inquiry is set to take place in early summer and is expected to last about two weeks. Its conclusions, and a subsequent government decision, may not be forthcoming until next year.
Guardian 12th March 2021 read more »