4th News Release The final week

As the public inquiry into the Cumbria coal mine [1] moves into its last week, lawyers for a small Cumbrian charity, South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC) [2] will make the case that the mine would increase global heating and cause significant UK and global impacts. And that the claimed benefits are local and exaggerated explains Maggie Mason who is leading the public inquiry work for SLACC.

Over the last two weeks an impressive list of leading climate scientists, steel experts and economists [3] have rallied to help Friends of the Earth and SLACC in their stand against West Cumbria Mining Company’s (WCM) proposal to open a new coal mine on the west coast of Cumbria says Maggie.

SLACC, along with Friends of the Earth, will make their closing statements in opposition to the mine this week. Reflecting on WCM’s case so far, Maggie Mason says:

“WCM argues that the use of, and need for, coking coal for steel making will stay almost constant until 2050. Yet one of our younger members, 17-year-old Hannah has seen for herself the world’s first green steel produced in Sweden, which would suggest otherwise.

“WCM also say carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology will help the UK meet its binding climate targets. This is in spite of their own expert witness admitting CCS is technically difficult and expensive, and that technologies that recycle scrap steel, or use hydrogen instead of coal are a higher priority.

“We have also seen WCM claim to be a net zero coal mine. It’s greenwashing the fact that nine million tonnes of greenhouse gas would be emitted from the use of their coal in steel making every year until 2049. Ultimately coal from this mine would delay the end of coking coal use in steel making, increase emissions, and help push global temperature rise beyond 1.5 degrees. It would increase deaths, misery and cause irreversible harm to nature so this mine must be stopped,” adds Maggie.

For further information and regular updates about SLACC’s Cumbria coal mine campaign visit their webpage. The inquiry can be watched on the Planning Inspectorate’s YouTube channel


Attached image shows SLACC member 17-year-old Hannah at Hybrit, Sweden.

For all media enquiries, please contact Emma Dewhurst at emma@tenstories.co.uk

Foot notes

[1] West Cumbria Mining Company’s (WCM) proposal for a coal mine at Woodhouse Colliery is the subject of a public inquiry by the planning inspectorate which began on Tuesday, September 7 and scheduled to finish on Friday the 1stOctober.  WCM’s principal shareholder and backer of the new mine is the Singapore-based EMR Capital Investment, which also owns coal mines in the US and Australia.

[2] SLACC’s lawyers pressed the government to call the public inquiry and has Rule 6 status. This means SLACC has a key and leading role in preparing and presenting evidence, and interrogating evidence put forward by WCM. Friends of the Earth (FOE) is the other Rule 6 Party.

[3] See inquiry timetable for list of experts giving evidence.