Why the Cumbria coal mine is a carbon intensive white elephant

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2 December, 2022


West Cumbria Mining’s plan for a coking coal pit near Whitehaven was initially approved by the local county council in 2020, but the decision was later withdrawn. A public inquiry was held last year to examine concerns about the mine’s impact on the environment, with the Planning Inspectorate producing a report for the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government. A final decision by the Secretary of State is due imminently. This briefing argues that the mine should not be approved because:

  • it does not have public support
  • it would undermine the UK’s climate leadership
  • UK steelmakers don’t need the coal
  • the UK should invest in clean steel instead
  • low carbon industries offer multigenerational jobs.

For more information

Roz Bulleid, research director,

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