Opencast coal extraction causes extensive damage to local environments by opening up the land like a quarry, destroying habitats and polluting the air and water. Imported coal, from Russia, Venezuela, Colombia, the USA and Australia, also carries significant environmental and human rights impacts.
As of July 2021 it was confirmed there are no more applications or appeals for opencast coal extraction in England. There are two opencast coal mines operational in South Wales.
There are two potential sites for new underground coking coal mines. West Cumbria Mining Ltd and NAE want to extract millions of tonnes of coking coal a year from sites in Cumbria and the Scottish borders. The coal would be exported to European steelworks.
Both sites would produce coking coal which is processed into coke and used at steel works which use high carbon blast furnaces. Port Talbot and Scunthorpe steelworks use these methods and are the second and third biggest single source emitters of carbon in the UK.
It is possible to make steel without coal using electric arc furnaces and recycling as well as through direct reduction iron production. New methods to produce steel with hydrogen are being trialled.
Coal-use in electricity declined to its lowest ever level in 2021, thanks to grassroots and NGO campaigning for a total phase-out of coal by 2025 which has now been brought forward to 2024.
There are now only three power stations left open in the UK, running occasionally.
Coal is the fuel that contributes most to climate change. Climate change impacts communities in the Global South, who least caused the problem, first and hardest.
The UK is also the financial centre of global coal mining, as many of the world's major mining companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as coal insurers and financiers.
The UK heads up the international 'Powering Past Coal Alliance' and hosts COP26 in 2021, but has yet to end coal extraction at home or fully end financial support for international coal mining.
We are an environmental organisation dedicated to ending coal mining and use in the UK for the sake of our collective climate and ecosystems. So you’d think we’d celebrate the claim by Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd that it will finally stop mining coal today at Ffos-y-fran in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. But we’re not. Because the abject failure of Merthyr County Borough Council to stop…
People hailing from Cumbria to London, and everywhere in between, descended on the Mines and Money Conference in London across two days (28th-29th Nov 2023). We demanded that investors stop pouring cash into the mining sector, and instead invest in our collective future. Together with Fossil Free London and other groups, we greeted investors with…
The insurers that have ruled out underwriting the mine are AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Hannover Re and Talanx. These are the first financial institutions to rule out any involvement with the project, and the win represents a new phase in the campaign to stop the project from going ahead.
Today’s global actions focused specifically on the state-owned China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim), and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Sinosure is said to be in advanced talks with the Ugandan government about providing credit for the project.
On 18th October dozens of protesters staged a sit-in occupation of the plush City of London offices of ten Lloyd’s of London insurers demanding they rule out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coal mine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Global mining companies are coming to London soon attempting to find investors in their ruinous projects at the Mines and Money Conference (28th to 30th November). Join our protests against it!
01 September 2022: Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd applies for a S.73 time extension to mine coal from Ffos-y-fran, and to accordingly delay and vary restoration works.
06 September 2022: Planning permission ends for coal mining at the Ffos-y-fran site, after 15 years and 3 months of operations.
12 September 2022: first reports to MTCBC have been made by local residents of coaling beyond the end of planning permission.
Over 30 Welsh NGOs and businesses have signed a letter to Welsh Minister Julie James and Deputy Minister Lee Waters, demanding they draw a line in the sand and announce ban on any further coal mines on Welsh soil. The letter was delivered on 11th October 2023.
On 15th September 2023, The Guardian reported that Tata Steel accepted Government funding to avoid closing its steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales, by decarbonising it instead – but at a loss of up to 3,000 jobs. The UK Government is providing £500 million, and Tata Steel is expected to provide another £725 million…