In the News
Climate Controversy - First UK Coal Mine for 30 Years Given the Green Light
It is a decision sure to ignite criticism from within and outside the UK. The government has given the green light for a £165m project that is forecast to create about 500 new jobs in Cumbria (a region with below-average per capita incomes) and produce 2.8m tonnes of coking coal a year, largely for steelmaking.
The mine will also produce an estimated 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, increasing the UK’s emissions by the equivalent of putting 200,000 cars on the road.
The Green Lobby are up in arms, and it is not clear that remaining steelmakers in the UK want the coal since they are transitioning to cleaner production methods. The coking coal from the mine is destined to be exported and risks damage to the UK’s international reputation as a leader in the battle against climate change.
The decision has regional economic implications - the news that the mine is to open has been welcomed by the local mayor because of its capacity to create jobs. Of course, this will be both as a direct effect of the new mine, but also because of the regional multiplier associated with it.
Channel 4 News led with this important story last night
In slightly more optimistic news, according to new data published by the International Energy Agency, the global energy crisis has triggered unprecedented momentum behind renewables, with the world set to add as much renewable power in the next 5 years as it did in the past 20 years.