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Wind Turbines
  • d.w.golding

The new coal mine - the greatest act of environmental criminality to date?

Why the application to create a new coal mine (Woodhouse Colliery)

by West Cumbria Mining should be decisively rejected


This would constitute a significant step forward for efforts to establish the UK

as a world leader for efforts to respond to the climate emergency,

by helping to build the momentum resulting from:


  • the Government’s ground breaking ‘Powering Past Coal Alliance’, at the launch of which, on 16th Nov 2017, Rt Hon Claire Perry MP stated that

“The time for coal has passed”;


  • the Government’s commitment to stop financing for fossil fuel

projects abroad from 31st March, 2021.



“Coal is not the future… all over the world, people have made a decision to

move to cleaner fuel than coal, which is the dirtiest fuel in the world…  

The future is very clearly in new technologies.”


(John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy, when asked specifically about

the Cumbrian mine by the BBC’s Emily Maitlis on 9th March, 2021)


“The claim that opening new coal mines helps stop climate change, because ‘local coal’ saves greenhouse gas emissions… is, quite simply, economic nonsense... Digging up

more coal makes it cheaper… discouraging the uptake of coal-free methods to

produce steel, etc. The proposals are would-be climate wreckers.”


(Professor Paul Ekins OBE, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London)


“Very low and zero emissions from the iron & steel and cement and concrete industries

is a technically and economically reasonable challenge”.


(Dr Chris Bataille, OECD Green Growth Papers, No. 2020/02, OECD Publishing, Paris)


“It would be an act of extreme diplomatic delinquency to consent to any new coal mine on the eve of the COP26 summit. The UK has an obligation as host to build confidence that the world can accelerate its currently inadequate progress away from carbon dependency… I hope even now the Government will call a halt to this misbegotten proposal.”


(Mr John Ashton CBE, who served three Foreign Secretaries as Special Representative on Climate Change)


The opening of a new deep coking coal mine in Cumbria will increase global emissions and have an appreciable impact on the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets… 


“It is important to note that this decision gives a negative impression

of the UK’s climate priorities in the year of COP26.”


(Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, in letter to Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State Ministry of Housing, etc., 29th January 2021)


“The threat of climate change is now so obvious and so deeply worrying that we need to be closing coal mines as quickly as possible, not opening new ones. Those pushing for the Woodhouse Colliery are either profoundly ignorant of the risks of climate change, or so blinded by money as to be a menace to our children and grandchildren.” 


(Professor Sir John H. Lawton CBE FRS, Former Chair of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution)


“The UK, as host to COP26, has a chance to change the course of our climate trajectory

– or it can stick with business-almost-as-usual and be vilified…around the world.


It would be easy to achieve… ignominy and humiliation. Just continue with this new coalmine… in contemptuous disregard of the future of young people and nature.”


(Professor James Hansen, NASA’s former chief climate scientist, who alerted the world to global heating in 1988)


Page 1 of a five page briefing submitted to the Public Inquiry by Dr David Golding CBE (


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