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Title:Cumbria coalmine protests planned as local opposition grows
Date:12/9/2022 3:00:18 AM

Campaigners expected to gather on Friday and Saturday, and possible legal challenge is being explored

Campaigners in Cumbria are planning protests after the government gave the green light to the first new coalmine to be dug in the UK for three decades.

Opponents of the mine are expected to gather in Penrith on Friday and at the site of the mine in Whitehaven on Saturday, as local opposition to the scheme gathers steam.

Ruth Balogh, the coordinator of the West Cumbria and North Lakes Friends of the Earth group, said a public inquiry into the mine, which took place during the Covid pandemic, had not grasped the scale of opposition to the plan.

“There were a lot of people who took the trouble to make personal representations at the public inquiry, and then an awful lot more people who didn’t, and you may recall that at the time we were in the grip of a pandemic and so we as a local campaigning organisation were not able to get out into the streets and get a grip of what people thought,” she said.

“I think the government underestimates people’s grasp of the nature of the climate crisis that we are living in, to be honest. I do think that you need to recognise that nearly every town in Cumbria has suffered flooding and that’s something we all know from first hand, and we know that climate change is responsible for the increase in flooding events.”

Planners had not taken into account calculations that showed the mine would lead to 9m tonnes more carbon in the atmosphere once end-use emissions were included, Balogh said. “That will affect us just as much as it will affect someone in Australia.”

The Conservative MP for Workington and a champion of the mine has also become a target. A group of local people have launched a Mark Jenkinson Watch campaign that focuses on his environmental stance. Members said they would attend Saturday’s protest in Whitehaven.

Alison Parker, one of Jenkinson’s constituents, said: “'The...

Organization:Guardian - Energy
Date Added:12/9/2022 6:37:23 AM