On Wednesday (21/12/2022) a gang of Santas delivered sacks of ‘naughty list coal’ to Michael Gove at his Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities office in Whitehall on behalf of Coal Action Network and Lush cosmetics. Holding signs reading “Christmas coal for climate criminal Gove ”, and “No new coal”, the festive action was in protest against the recent Whitehaven coal mine approval.
Since Gove announced his approval of the Whitehaven coal mine application on 7th December, he has been heavily criticised by members of his own party, the Government’s own Climate Change Committee, industry leaders, and environmental groups. Over the original coal mine timeline, the coal operator would mine 64 million tonnes of coal, resulting in 200 million tonnes of CO2, and 340 thousand tonnes of potent climate change accelerant, methane.
Gove’s 15-page letter outlining his reasons for approving the Whitehaven coal mine has already been left in tatters by steel industry leaders who have said British Steelworks can’t rely on Whitehaven coal as it’s too high in polluting sulphur. Gove’s justification was dealt another blow when Owen Hewlett, the chief technical officer of Gold Standard offsetting, called the idea of making the coal mine carbon-neutral through Gold Standard offsetting “obviously nonsense, morally nonsense and technically insane”.
Coal Action Network said “We’re here because Santa knows who’s been naughty and nice, and Gove’s top of the naughty list for approving the Whitehaven coal mine. If more coal mines are really Gove’s only levelling up offer, Santa’s got a message for him this Christmas: climate change only levels down. It’s a dead-end industry distracting from the levelling up potential of jobs with a future.”
Lush campaigns manager Andrew Butler says, “Lush will be Santa for lots of people this Christmas and while we usually provide nice presents, Gove is firmly on our naughty list. But to say Gove has been naughty is a gross understatement. His reckless decision to approve a new coal mine in West Cumbria puts us all on the path to climate catastrophe and makes extreme weather like the floods that displaced tens of millions of people in Pakistan more likely. Gove is not just naughty, he is a climate criminal.”
In a joint statement Coal Action Network and Lush Santas say, “We must remember that individuals are making these decisions that cost us billions, our quality of life, and our very future. Where is the individual accountability for that? Families are freezing in their homes this winter because someone in Government effectively stopped the home insulation programme around a decade ago. Instead of holding that person responsible and reversing that damage, Gove approves a coal mine for a steel industry that doesn’t want it, derailing our climate promises. Santa is all about individual accountability and doesn’t care if someone hides behind a Ministerial title—so these sacks of ‘coal’ are delivered to Michael Gove personally this Xmas.”
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…
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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.