Today (Sat 15th October 2022) the Scottish government has stated that the “era of coal is over”. Lorna Slater, Co-leader of the Scottish Greens, announced at their party conference the preferred position against coal mining, for all types of coal.
This is essentially a ban on coal mining in Scotland, similar to the one on fracking. The Scottish Government doesn’t have ultimate say on mineral extraction, but the preferred position means that local councils won’t be able to permit new coal mines under Scottish policy.
Image credit: the Guardian
Scotland was once the heartland of UK coal mining, as the above 2008 image shows, Scotland dominated the UK in its extraction of coal via opencast mines. The last deep Scottish coal mine, Longannet pit, in Fife, closed in 2002 and the final coal load was transported from an East Ayrshire opencast coal mine in 2020. Longannet coal power station closed its doors in 2016, ending electricity production from coal in the country. However, in recent years there has recently movement towards an application for a new underground coking coal mine in Dumfries and Galloway.
At a site called Lochinvar an Australian company, NAE Ltd wanted to extract up to 33.7 million tonnes of coking coal for steelworks in the rest of UK and beyond (there are no major Scottish steel works using coal) NAE Ltd wanted to mine between 2025 and 2051, under a massive area under Canonbie near Gretna, in South West Scotland. This would have emitted around 73 million tonnes of CO2 and around 750 thousand tonnes of methane, a powerful climate change accelerant. This announcement should stop this application from ever progressing.
The area of the proposed Lochinvar coking coal mine
Coal Action Network strongly supports the Green Party’s position that, “I’m calling on the UK Government to follow us. To make the right call for once. To ban coal extraction for good.”
The UK government is still deliberating on whether to prevent an underground coking coal mine starting at Whitehaven, a decision is due this autumn. The Coal Authority has been taken to Judicial Review by Coal Action Network in the hope that it will reverse its decision on Aberpergwm underground coking coal mine extension. There are also two Welsh opencast coal extension proposals.
The UK government has been keen to be seen to say the right things regarding coal, but has failed to take the many opportunities to stop the mining industry to date.
Today’s decision has been hard won by the communities, campaigners and organisations such as Coal Action Scotland who fought opencast coal mine applications in Scotland and created the foundations for this decision.
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.