Updated. The decision to stop or allow the proposed 61.4 million tonne coal mine has been delayed or a second time. It is now due on or before the 8th November. (Following a first delay when the Government had said the 17th August.) We are keen to apply as much pressure to stop the mine as possible. For why this mine cannot be allowed to go ahead, see our blog post Key facts: Whitehaven coal mine.
The public inquiry into the application closed nearly a year ago (September 2021). Now we’re contending with the invasion of Ukraine, a looming energy crisis, and the closure of Port Talbot steelworks if it doesn’t receive £1.5 billion in subsidies from the government to pay for new equipment to remove its dependence on coal.
Since Liz Truss became Prime Minister there is a new Minister, Simon Clarke responsible for this decision. He is the third new holder of this role since Robert Jenrick said the government would take over the proposed Whitehaven coal mine decision in March 2021 from Cumbria County Council.
Write to your MP now to ask that they make Simon Clarke, the Secretary of State responsible for the decision, aware of your concerns.
Below are some suggestions of points to include, please re-write them yourself and or change their order. Unique letters make a much bigger difference than reproducing the same one.
Some things to consider in your letter to your MP:
1) The only significant domestic demand for Whitehaven’s coal would be Port Talbot Steelworks (at most, 13% of the coal produced could be consumed in the UK at full production). Port Talbot Steelworks has announced it will either cut out coal from its steelworks with a £1.5 billion government subsidy – or close. Either way, close to 100% of Whitehaven coal would be exported where it doesn’t get included in UK emissions statistics, but does worsen everyone’s climate risk.
2) The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a good reason to lead the way in reducing our industries’ dependence on fossil fuels, starting with Port Talbot Steelworks, and embrace the massive potential for renewable energy across the UK. Much can be done just by increasing efficiencies, see our report on Coal in steel.
3) Chris McDonald of the Materials Processing Institute has said that the Whitehaven mine would not displace a single tonne of Russian coking coal from the UK. The industry’s trade association—UK Steel - has confirmed that no Russian coal is used in UK steelworks any more; these plants have already found alternative sources.
4) The UK holds the COP (climate summit) presidency until the end of 2022, the UK needs to set an example by keeping all fossil fuels in the ground. Lord Deben, of the Climate Change Committee, said in June 2022 "As far as the coal mine in Cumbria is concerned, let's be absolutely clear, it is absolutely indefensible".
5) The cost of living crisis means that we need to invest in technology and industries which can offer sustainable, well paid, long-term employment, building a greener country—rather than investing in a declining industry at a coal mine with an uncertain future. The Local Government Association, says there is potential for over 6000 green jobs in Cumbria this decade of which 10% of these could be in Copeland, where the Whitehaven coal mine would be.
You can also include reasons against this coal mine which are not on this list, but important to you. Remember it would produce coal for steel making, rather than for coal power stations. Please remember to include a full name and address.
Particularly important Ministers to contact are: Alok Sharma, Reading West; Simon Clarke, Middlesborough South and East Cleveland; Kwasi Kwarteng, Spelthorne; Greg Hands, Chelsea and Fulham; Paul Scully, Sutton & Cheam; Marcus Jones, Nuneaton; Lia Nici, Great Grimsby; Steve Double, St Austell and Newquay; and Alan Mak, Havant, Hampshire. However, only the MP for the area that you live will correspond with you on this issue.
If they haven't already you could ask your MP to sign the Early Day Motion titled, “Planned coalmine in Whitehaven, Cumbria”. 51 MPs have signed so far. Is yours one of them? Normally only opposition party MPs sign EDMs.
We’re excited to let you know that you can finally watch FINITE online now on Vimeo On Demand, by renting or buying the film.
FINITE: The Climate of Change is an inspiring insider’s view of communities in the UK and Germany putting their bodies on the line to fight back against coal mining. Featuring Coal Action Network alongside local people in the Pont Valley, Durham…
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.