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Approval of new Cumbria coal mine ‘shameful’, we say

7th December 2022

Michael Gove has given the go-ahead to open the first deep coal mine in the UK for 30 years, a short-sighted move which flies in the face of the government’s own climate commitments.

Commenting on the government’s decision to approve a new coal mine at the Whitehaven site in Cumbria, Tom Fyans, interim CEO at CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘Nothing says out of touch like a government that has just become the first in more than 30 years to approve a new deep coal mine in the UK. This absurdly retrograde decision will shackle us to the past at the precise moment the steel industry is transitioning to an environmentally sustainable future.

‘Instead of grasping the opportunity to lead the world in a clean and green industrial revolution, here we are clinging onto the dirty coal that powered and poisoned the Victorian era. This shameful decision beggars belief. It will degrade the countryside, pollute the atmosphere and makes a mockery of the government’s legally binding climate commitments.

‘The people of Cumbria are crying out for good jobs and a stable future. Like other rural communities up and down the country, they have suffered years of neglect and underinvestment. That’s why it’s vital the government keeps to its promise of levelling up by training and supporting people to work in green industries with good, long-term prospects, not consigning them to the disappointment of a dangerous job that will soon be obsolete.’

A row of people holding banners against coal power outside an office building
Campaigners from Cumbria gather with staff from CPRE, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth at the government department responsible for the coal mine to hand in the petition Greenpeace


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