Approving a new deep coalmine in Cumbria would stifle international efforts to decarbonise industry and could produce a chain-reaction effect boosting prospective overseas mining projects, the public inquiry into the UK scheme has heard. Boris Johnson’s aspirations to cast his government as an international climate leader at the upcoming Cop26 summit would be fatally undermined, the inquiry’s closing session also heard, if the mine were given the green light by the Planning Inspectorate. Paul Brown, the counsel acting for Friends of the Earth at the inquiry, said such a decision “would fundamentally undermine any credibility this government has on the world stage”. “Instead of being a world leader, we would be seen as the worst hypocrite imaginable,” he argued as part of his closing remarks, adding that the UK would lose any authority in its attempts to persuade developing countries to abandon similar fossil fuel schemes.
Guardian 1st Oct 2021 read more »