Plans for the first deep coal mine in three decades have unleashed a fierce row over jobs versus pollution as Britain prepares to host the UN climate summit in Glasgow. Mark Kirkbride has been told the same thing often: “Most other people would have given up.” You wouldn’t blame him if he did. For several years, Kirkbride has run one of Britain’s most divisive projects: trying to get permission to dig Britain’s first deep coal mine in more than three decades, on the Cumbrian coast. Yet against the odds, he may be about to succeed. In October, Cumbria county council approved the plans for Woodhouse Colliery — the third time they had done so — and last month the government opted not to call in the project for an official inquiry, saying it would respect what was a “local” decision. An almighty battle has since erupted. On one side are locals and politicians who want the 500 jobs that will be created with the opening of West Cumbria Mining’s £165 million Woodhouse Colliery in Whitehaven in Copeland. On the other are environmentalists from round the world who say it is incompatible with Britain’s climate change ambitions and target to hit net zero by 2050.
Times 7th Feb 2021 read more »
Here is my rather exasperated and off the cuff comment on today’s Sunday Times article which features in hero mode the CEO of West Cumbria Mining Mark Kirkbride . The impacts mentioned speak only of climate … and of course there is no mention that it was nuclear safety campaigners Radiation Free Lakeland who took the lonely step of opposing this mine in 2017 with our Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign when no one else could be bothered….now it’s an issue in vogue – but don’t mention nuclear- keep schtum about that at all costs!
Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole 7th Feb 2021 read more »
Letter: Gaby Hinsliff’s piece propagates an illusion advanced principally by vested fossil fuel interests: that we have to choose between green policies or jobs. In reality, no such dilemma exists. The International Energy Agency and Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise have published reports which conclude that renewable energy infrastructure projects deliver far more jobs than economic stimulus for business as usual. Nowhere is the false dichotomy of “prosperity versus the environment” more evident than in Cumbria, where so many families are the victims of devastating flooding, attributable to the fossil fuel induced climate crisis, leading to the collapse in the value of their homes. Precarious jobs in industries which increase the vulnerability of people in the region have nothing to do with levelling up. Finally, the article implies that a carbon tax would hurt those on low wages. Under Prof James Hansen’s proposal for a “fee and dividend” approach to taxation, the opposite would be true. Since the wealthy consume more carbon, they pay more carbon tax, while low consumers earn the dividend and end up better off.
Guardian 7th Feb 2021 read more »
The UK is poised to back a major Brazilian offshore oil project that will contribute the same emissions as 800,000 cars annually, despite its promise to end funding for overseas oil and gas projects. The Government promised last year to end taxpayer support for fossil fuel projects overseas before the UK hosts the international climate summit Cop26 in November. But it has emerged that its export credit agency, UK Export Finance, is considering backing for 17 fossil fuel projects that could be concluded by July, before a ban is introduced.
Telegraph 6th Feb 2021 read more »