New Cumbria coalmine 'incompatible' with climate crisis goals

(The Guardian, 15 Jan 2020) Facility threatens UK’s aim to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, report says.

Britain’s first new deep coalmine in 30 years is unnecessary and incompatible with UK climate ambitions, according to a report.

The £165m Woodhouse colliery in Cumbria was given cross party-backing in March 2019, leading to protests from climate campaigners who said the mine would harm the UK’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

Now a report by the independent thinktank the Green Alliance has found the colliery, along the coast from Whitehaven, will hold back the development of low-carbon steelmaking.

The report, authored by two university professors who specialise in environmental issues, claims that opening a new coalmine would hinder this strategy by ensuring the continued availability of cheap coal.

It also refutes Cumbria county council’s claim that the mine, which aims to process 2.5m tonnes of coking coal a year for the UK and European steel industry, replacing imports from the US, Canada, Russia and Colombia, will be carbon neutral.

Prof Rebecca Willis and Mike Berners-Lee from Lancaster University, say the mine would produce 8.4m tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the emissions from more than 1 million households.

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The Guardian, 15 Jan 2020: New Cumbria coalmine 'incompatible' with climate crisis goals