The federal government has introduced that the UK will construct its first new coal mine for 3 a long time. The Woodhouse Colliery venture, close to Whitehaven, was permitted on Wednesday night time by levelling-up secretary Michael Gove, who mentioned the coal will probably be used for the manufacturing of metal and never for energy era.
The choice prompted a direct backlash and it’s anticipated to spark a authorized problem from environmentalists.
A wave of objections following the mine’s approval by the county council in 2020 resulted in it being “known as in” final 12 months for a closing resolution by the levelling up secretary.
On Thursday morning, schooling secretary Gillian Keegan labelled the brand new mine a “widespread sense resolution”. She instructed GB Information: “In fact persons are anxious concerning the signalling however it’s nonetheless our intent to part out coal and it is a very, very particular industrial use simply to supply metal”.
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Requested if the choice represented a step backwards, she continued: “This has truly been talked about for a very long time. There’s loads of native help, it has been handed by the Labour council, by three planning inspectors, and you understand it is a widespread sense resolution.
“It’s within the north, it’ll convey sensible jobs to that space and as I say there’s loads of native help round Whitehaven… for this mine.”
The brand new mine has been beneath improvement by West Cumbria Mining since 2014 and it will likely be the primary deep pit to open in England since 1986. It’s projected to extend UK greenhouse gasoline emissions by 0.4 million tonnes a 12 months, the equal of round 200,000 vehicles, based on evaluation by assume tank Inexperienced Alliance.
The federal government’s personal unbiased adviser on local weather change has additionally condemned the choice, which can permit extraction of the fossil gasoline till 2049.
Chair of the local weather change committee and former Conservative minister Lord Deben mentioned it will undermine UK efforts to succeed in internet zero and “diminish” the nation’s international affect on carbon.
He added: “This resolution grows international emissions and undermines UK efforts to attain internet zero.
“It runs counter to the UK’s acknowledged goals as Cop26 president and sends solely the incorrect sign to different international locations concerning the UK’s local weather priorities. The UK’s hard-fought international affect on local weather is diminished by at the moment’s resolution”.
The builders say it is going to create 500 jobs offering coking coal for the steel-making business, an business which has beforehand been closely depending on Russia.
Shadow local weather change secretary Ed Miliband mentioned Rishi Sunak had been uncovered as a “fossil gasoline PM in a renewable age”, who had “given up on all pretence of local weather management”.
Inexperienced Celebration MP Caroline Lucas, known as it a “climate-busting, backward-looking, business-wrecking, stranded asset coal mine”, when the nation wanted a “a clear, inexperienced industrial technique match for the longer term”.
Alok Sharma MP, who led the COP26 local weather talks in Glasgow final 12 months, final week known as it a “backward step” for each the UK’s personal local weather motion and its worldwide fame.
Sharma’s COP presidency noticed the UK foyer different international locations to “consign coal to historical past”.
Throughout COP27, held in Egypt final month, prime minister Rishi Sunak promised to make the UK a “clear power superpower”.