Tonight, 18th February 2021, marks the final shipment of coal mined from the North East of England. This marks a momentous victory for the years of anti-coal action, most recently the successfully defeated open cast coal mine application in Dewley Hill, near Newcastle.
The heritage of coal exports from the North East of England goes back to the 13th Century, but it has increasingly become a legacy in decline and with it, levels of deprivation that are also seen in other former-coalfield regions of the UK. The government must do more to ensure there is a just transition from jobs in coal and fossil fuels, to jobs in a genuinely green economy.
Jude Campbell, who campaigned against an application for a new coal mine in Dewley Hill from 2019-2021, says “As a former union rep the prospect of redundancy… does not sit easily with me. However, [coal is] a declining industry and it is grossly irresponsible to promise these workers employment in this industry ad infinitum when coal is on the way out in favour of green technologies”.
So today, at the end of an era, would be an apt landmark for government to ‘level up’ by renewing and acting on their commitment to materially support a sustainable economy in the North East of England.
With the UK’s climate commitments (not least to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2024/5) and the declining contribution of coal to the national grid, this day was inevitable – and critical if the UK is serious about taking action on climate change. Coal remains the single largest emitter of CO2 in the world, out-stripping oil and gas. Without a rapid and drastic reduction in the use of coal, catastrophic climate change is certain.
Tonight, coal from Durham open cast coal mine, operated by Hargreaves, will leave the UK on a ship from Longwave Port of Tyne, most likely to be burned in a power station to produce electricity. This coal mine ceased actively extracting coal in 2020. Now Hargreaves is merely transporting mined coal out of the mine - the last open cast coal mine to do so in the North East after Bradley open cast coal mine in County Durham, operated by Banks’ Group, had its application for extension rejected and closed in August 2020.
“Coal is a proud part of our history in the North East, but it is not our future” – Jos, Newcastle.
Between 2008 and 2012, communities fought against the threat of an opencast coal mine on the edge of their picturesque rural Northumberland villages. Northumberland Local Planning Authority sided with…
Today (10th July 2021) we gather to say goodbye to our friend Dongria Khond, also known as Penny Eastwood. Her life was remarkable in the amount of people she touched, the things she did and the places she protected.
With Adani looking to renew its insurance soon, we need to make sure the last few insurers rule out insuring this mega mine. Join a Power Hour of action to help ramp up the pressure.
Indigenous Wayuu elders and community leaders in northern Colombia are gathering to demand justice from the coal company Cerrejón, which operates Latin America’s biggest coal mine.
As they reopened after lockdown, Lloyd’s of London and companies involved in their marketplace opened their offices to find local people demanding that they rule out insuring the West Cumbria and Adani coal mines immediately.
Firstly, it’s nothing at all to do with Lloyd’s PLC, the bank – they’re not great either, but that’s another story. Lloyd’s of London is a large insurance corporation with an HQ in London….
Update on coal extraction and use in the UK
A new report – Still Burning – tells the harrowing but little-known stories of the communities from Russia, Colombia, the USA, and Australia whose homes and way of life are literally torn up to mine the coal beneath them, suffering widespread human rights abuses.
STOP PRESS: in a surprise decision, the West Cumbria coal mine application is going to a public inquiry called by Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State), announced late yesterday (11.03.2021). Climate change will never be a local issue.