BACK TO TOP

CAN instructs Barristers to take Welsh Government and the Coal Authority to task over Aberpergwm colliery extension.

Update

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

See our first letter and our second letter 'before action' from lawyers Richard Buxton Solicitors challenging the decisions made around the Aberpergwm coal mine expansion licence.


 

Under direction by grassroots campaign organisation, Coal Action Network, Barrister Estelle Dehon has sent a letter-before-action to the Welsh Government and the Coal Authority on the grounds that:

  1. Welsh Ministers can apply the Wales Act 2017 to the Aberpergwm coal mine extension licence - requiring approval from Welsh Ministers before the licence becomes valid for coal mining within Wales.
  2. Coal Authority misinterprets its own powers. It can consider wider factors which could include climate change and can still withdraw the licence for the Aberpergwm colliery extension prior to it being ‘granted’ (it is currently only ‘offered’).

Our Barrister thinks they got it wrong.

Our Barrister’s pre-action letter convincingly puts the power to stop the Aberpergwm colliery extension licence firmly in the hands of Welsh Government Ministers. Now it is up to those Ministers to take their rhetoric and put it into swift, decisive action to stop this climate calamity whilst there is still the opportunity to do so. Our pre-action letter also identifies why The Coal Authority, hosted by BEIS of the UK Government, isn’t bound by the narrow set of criteria it claims to be, and could, for instance, site climate change as a reason to withdraw this licence and reject future coal mining licence applications, becoming an ally to our climate commitments rather than an undermining force.

We tried knocking on their doors before putting a letter through their letterboxes…

Coal Action Network tried to avoid legal action, with supporters sending over 4000 emails to Lee Waters of the Welsh Government and Michael Gove of the UK Government, urging them to come to work together and arrive at a common understanding as to which could intervene on the pending licence to extend the Aberpergwm colliery—and then take that action to stop the licence before it’s granted. However, along with our open letter, Ministers ignored thousands of concerned members of the public. As Ministers refuse to respond to the public’s and civil society’s concerns, we must resort to this legal action.

We hope they see sense.

We hope that the Welsh Government and The Coal Authority act swiftly to stop this coal mine, in accordance with the legal grounds identified within the pre-action letter. This may avoid the need for a judicial review. But we cannot allow it to go unchallenged, that every institution and individual involved has shrugged off the responsibility for committing us to the extraction of 70 million tonnes of coal, selling 40 million tonnes of coal, and the release of 1.17 million tonnes of methane and c.100 million tonnes of CO2. This is a terrible climate injustice, it must be stopped, and those responsible must be held to account. The time to draw a line in the sand is now. No new coal mining for any purpose. And the IEA agrees with us (p103).

It's not just about the Aberpergwm colliery extension. This needs to end.

If we must resort to a judicial review to prevent this coal mine, we intend to crowd-fund it and we hope you’ll share it widely. As well as stopping this coal mine extension, a successful legal challenge will dissuade the other coal companies which have conditional licences from the Coal Authority to attempt new coal mines. We would significantly raise the bar against new coal mines.

Published: 09/02/22

Share now:

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wroe
Wroe
2 years ago

Have you ever visted South Wales …?? I doubt it with these comments. Port Talbot steel works is 20 mins away from Aberpergwm colliery and probably pumps out more pollution. ..the sky’s are orange on some nights …

Mel Price, Swansea Climate Action Network
Mel Price, Swansea Climate Action Network
2 years ago

Well done CAN, this issue is too important to played like a political football.
We in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot are interested in opening up a wider debate regarding the production of steel in Port Talbot which is where the coal will end up.
TATA steel has applied for UK funding to help finance the installation of electric furnaces, this must be considered as an answer to problem otherwise the coal will simply be imported from abroad.
We are seeking to engage with residents, industry, trade unions, local and national governments, protest groups and anyone else wanting to take part in meaningful discussion to ensure a just transition to greener, healthier future for all. This will initially take the form of a people’s assembly, details to follow.

Never miss an update! Sign up to our Newsletter

OTHER STORIES

Email your election candidate

Coal Action Network asked Who will stop coal? last weekend in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. At the site of the proposed coal mine, members of the local community and supporters gathered to ensure that the question of the mine is being put to election candidates. Now we need you to crank up the pressure and make sure all election candidates across the UK faces this question as they could decide the fate of the coal mine if elected…

Hearing date set for proposed West Cumbria Coal mine

The legal challenges against the government’s approval of a new coal mine off the coast of Cumbria will be heard in London on the 16th to 18th July.

Support local campaign group resist Bedwas coal mine

Mining company, ERI Ltd, is applying to mine nearly half a million tonnes of coal from two coal tips dumped in Caerphilly, South Wales by the same mining industry last time it operated in the area.

Bedwas coal tips: Key facts and impacts

Mining company, ERI Ltd, is applying to mine nearly half a million tonnes of coal from two coal tips dumped in Caerphilly, South Wales, by the mining industry last time it operated in the area. It’s vital we stop this shameless attempt to exploit the mess left behind by the mining industry to justify yet more mining. If the coal tip mining were to go ahead, it would…

Ffos-y-fran opencast coal mine quietly becomes a massive reservoir

Coal Action Network’s drone footage on Monday 11th March raised the alarm bell about the rising water levels. With this footage, a local resident informed Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council of the rising water levels, only to be told…

Global Week of Action: Putting Insurance Industry in the Hot Seat

The insurance industry found itself in the spotlight last week as a Global Week of Action blossomed across the world. From February 27th to March 3rd 2024, a wave of protests, both online and in the streets, swept through the doors of insurance giants, demanding accountability over their support for polluters and decisive action on climate change.

Protesters walk with banner reading 'Insure Our Futures Not Polluters'

Success: Yet another major insurer rules out coal and oil projects

After a week of peaceful protest around the world, alongside hundreds of groups, our efforts have paid off. Yet another leading insurance company, Probitas, has ruled out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coal mine and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

Bedwas coal tip: a new frontier for coal in South Wales?

‘Energy Recovery Investments Ltd’ is proprosing to extract the coal from 3 large coal tips in Bedwas, Caerphilly, South Wales. The company claims that it would use some of the sales of the coal to restore those coal tips later. The coal tips lie above a coal seam, which the company claims it would coincidentally have to dig into to create ‘lagoons’ for processing the coal from the coal tips…

Charges dropped for activists blocking Ffos-y-fran coal mine

The Crown Prosecution Service has dropped all charges against the four Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists who blockaded the entrance to the UK’s largest open-cast coal mine, last summer with a pink boat. While removing the immediate burden of legal confrontation for the defendants, the decision has left a “crater of unfinished business” in the fight for climate justice and accountability for local residents…

CONNECT WITH US

Share now:

2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x