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Licenced: the Aberpergwm coal mine extension

Update

Check out what we're doing now to stop the Aberpergwm coal mine expansion.

On 25th January 2022...

...Whilst the Welsh and UK Governments continued to argue over which could stop it, The Coal Authority approved the full licence for an underground coal mine extension to Energybuild Ltd. The company can now mine a further 40 MILLION TONNES of coal until 2039, emitting an est. 100 MILLION TONNES of CO2 and up to 1.17 MILLION TONNES of methane emissions.

This is exactly what we warned would happen, but it’s not over yet.

We, at Coal Action Network, are taking action against this climate trashing project and want you to join in. This is a rapidly evolving issue, and we will post specific actions you can get involved with here on our website, as well as our social media platforms. Watch this space.

Campaign plans

We will:

  • Take legal advice on how to challenge legality of this coal mine – with a view to prevent potential coal mines in the future, particularly as mining companies will be watching this case closely, as several other coal companies are holding conditional licences already.
  • Consider mass participation digital and creative actions.
  • Counter the growing greenwash emanating from Energybuild Ltd.
  • Be direct and targeted in exposing backtracking from politicians on their positions against coal mining.
  • Investigate concerns raised that there may be no guarantees Energybuild Ltd, or a new company that buys the mine, will restore the area after mining ceases.

Why must we stop this coal mine?

  1. The UK is already off-course to meeting its Paris Agreement climate commitments. Waving through 100 million tonnes of CO2 endangers not just the UK’s decarbonisation progress, but also the European countries that it will be exported to.
  2. Currently, around half of the coal mined in Aberpergwm is sold to TATA’s Port Talbot Steelworks—the 2nd biggest single-site source of CO2 in the UK, and that’s largely down to the coal used to make the steel. The UK Government set a target for the UK steel industry to decarbonise by 2035, to have any hope of meeting its climate commitments… that’s 4 years before this coal mine is due to close. The problem is, if Energybuild Ltd would make coal more widely and cheaply available, so steel companies will keep using it rather than investing in the infrastructure to use alternatives to coal. This would create a delay to the decarbonisation of the steel industry that we cannot afford.
  3. Other mining companies will be watching this closely; if the Aberpergwm coal mine extension goes ahead, it could spark a disastrous new wave of coal mining applications.
  4. This is the first test of the Welsh Government’s tough stance on coal in Wales. If the Welsh Government are seen to support this coal mine, it will undermine the hard-won progress to make coal mining untenable at the highest political level within Wales.

Published: 03/02/2022 updated 08/02/2022

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jane mansfield
jane mansfield
2 years ago

Thanks Coal Action Network for your very clear summary. There is no shortage of coal world wide. More coal dug up just equals more coal burnt and delaying the inevitable change to sustainable solutions. The community at Aberpergwm need support whilst they transfer to a sustainable green economy. Tata must transfer away from coal asap. Wales should be sending a very clear message that it is serious about the green environmental credentials that it claims……and put the needs of future generations at the heart of every decision.

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