UK Government Approves New Coal Mine

The current war in the Ukraine has led the UK government to approve the UK’s first new coal mine in 30 years. Unsurprisingly that has brought about protests from those worried about the environmental impact.

Increased employment

The mine will be in Cumbria. It was approved by Michael Gove, the UKs Secretary of State for Housing and Communities. One reason behind the decision was to bring about 500 jobs to an area that needed an employment.

The extracted coal will be used to make steel. The UK buys nearly half their coal needed to make steel from Russia but the war in the Ukraine has brought that into contention. The UK government wants to minimise the amount of money paid to Russia.

Environmental impact

Protesters are worried that the opening of a new mine goes against environmental campaigns and does nothing to stop climate change. Burning fossil fuels contributes enormously to greenhouse gases, and coal is the most polluting fuel.

The UK government pledged to cut greenhouse gases by 78% by 2035. However, the coal mine will likely increase the UK’s emissions. There is also concern that the coal extracted isn’t suitable for making steel, making the whole exercise pointless.

Net Zero goal

In response the government has said the mine will be ‘net zero’. They will try and offset any emissions with environmental projects such as planting trees.

The plans for the mine are mostly supported by the local Cumbrian residents according to the local mayor. They are supportive of bringing new employment to the area. However, there is also concern that the mine does not offer long term job prospects. It was suggested that renewable energy would be a better sector to create jobs in.

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