The first coal mine in 30 years has been approved in Cumbria by Michael Gove, the UK’s Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. This approval has faced large amounts of opposition due to concerns surrounding climate change and the burning of fossil fuels. Those that don’t oppose the new mine have claimed that it will create more jobs within the community.
The mine is to be built in order to provide coking coal for the production of steel. With 85% of the coal being exported to other countries. Although, critics have stated that the mining for this coal will reduce the UK’s chances of reaching their climate targets.
Opposition also comes from climate activists and MPs that state that the coal dug up will be used for steel making, therefore it will not play a part in securing our position in regards to the energy crisis.
A representative from Greenpeace has claimed that the UK is becoming:
“a superpower in climate hypocrisy
rather than climate leadership”.
In 2020, the approval of the mine was given by the local county council, however, after COP26, the Government delayed the approval of the coal mine due to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would be released.
Coal is known to be the dirtiest fossil fuel and when burnt it releases the most carbon emissions when compared to oil and gas. The £165 million project is expected to release around 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, which will have a major effect on the UK’s carbon footprint.