Groups have taken action since the government approved a new coal mine, proposed for Whitehaven, Cumbria, on the 8th December 2022—including:
On Friday 27th October, visitors and residents travelling in Cumbria were met by a powerful message of opposition to the proposed new coal mine at Whitehaven. Large banners were hung at major roads across the county, declaring this is “No Time for a Coal Mine”. The banners were hung at the M6 junction at Penrith, on the A66 at Keswick and Cockermouth, on bridges over the Staveley by-pass and the A591 at Kendal, at Garsdale Head and at Whitehaven itself.
Meanwhile, posters emblazoned with “No Time for a Coal Mine” appeared all around Kendal and Penrith. On Saturday 28th October, the Cumbrian Canaries made an outing at the Winter Droving festival in Penrith, raising the alarm about the proposed coal mine and handing out around 800 leaflets to the revellers.
October's Speakers' Corner hosted Prof. Julia Steinberger, an IPCC 6th Assessment Report author who said that demand reduction is needed to reduce the worst impacts of climate change, and that we already have the technology to ensure this can happen while ensuring a comfortable life. There were 5 other brilliant speakers.
The event was planned to mark the first day of the legal challenge against the Government's approval of the mine proposal, but the hearing has been postponed until after a linked case, which will decide whether the end use emissions need to be considered when giving planning consent. This would mean that the emissions from consuming coal from this site in steelworks would need to be counted, not just those released from mining.
On the 18th October, hundreds of protesters occupied 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 the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). Earlier that day the protesters marched waving banners saying “Don’t Insure EACOP” and “Don’t Insure West Cumbria Mine” to three high profile buildings including the “Walkie Talkie” where in a coordinated swoop, activists are causing disruption in the office foyers of Ascot, Talbot, Chaucer, Markel, Allied World, CNA Hardy, Tokio Marine Kiln, Sirius International and Lancashire Syndicates. The activists staged a sit-in. More details here.
On the 15th September, the Global day of action against fossil fuel finance, kicked off demonstrations at the offices of Lloyd of London Insurance companies kicking off the campaign to ensure West Cumbria Mining Ltd don't get insurance for the proposed coal mine. Demonstrations took place in places including London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, York, Wrexham, Croydon and Cardiff.
At September's Speakers' Corner event the demonstrators heard from Sarah Finch, Weald Action Group, about the proposal to extract oil in Surrey - which she is challenging in the Supreme Court.
Michael Gove referenced the High Court decision on the case of Horse Hill in Surrey, and used that case to justify excluding the greenhouse gas emissions that would arise from burning the coal from the mine. Sarah's court case questions how end use emissions can be ignored in projects like oil or coal extraction. The Horse Hill decision is awaited and will likely influence the outcome of the legal challenges against the Whitehaven proposal and therefore whether the mine goes ahead.
At the end of August 2023 Earth First! squatted the site of the proposed Whitehaven coal mine and held a week long gathering packed with inspiring discussions, delicious food, wonderful workshops, lots of sock wrestling and some spectacular sunsets! It was a week of radical ecological existence, bursting with love and burning with revolutionary spirit. Their message was
As thousands of visitors travelled into Cumbria for the busy August bank holiday they were met with a powerful statement: 25 large banners opposing the proposed new coal mine near Whitehaven with the words ‘NO TIME for a COAL MINE’ on all the roads into Cumbria.
Leafleting also happened in Carlisle, Keswick, Kirkby Lonsdale and Penrith with a good reception.
Not Coal, Not Dole, speakers' corner on the 22nd July Just Transition and Climate Jobs saw people come to the proposed site from across the North. Speakers included: Willie Black from Scot E3 and Unite the Union; Joseph Healey, Left Unity and Unite the Union, Gail Bradbrook founder of Extinction Rebellion whose father was a coal miner and Clara Paillard Former President of PCS union Culture group compared.
30th June speakers' corner where those there heard four very informative and inspirational speakers - all of whom underlined the extreme recklessness of even considering building a new coal mine; and pointed out how what west Cumbria - and especially its young people - needed, and could have, was many more good, long-term, green jobs that didn't wreck the climate and, instead, would help build a better & more sustainable future for the local community.
Chris Packham joined Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion and others at the first ‘Speaker’s Corner’ event outside the gates of the proposed site in May 2023. This is now a regular event.
South Lakes Action on Climate Change and Friends of the Earth are running legal challenges against the Government’s December 2022 approval of the coal mine. Both organisations assert that the decision to grant planning permission for the coal mine was unlawful, as the Secretary of State did not properly consider the climate impacts of this mine. A judge will decide if there is a case to answer, and, if so, will hear that case in a three day trial 24th to 26th October.
Extinction Rebellion North Lakes and others at the ‘Big One’ protests in London in April protested outside Javelin Commodities, because the company has agreed to sell any coal extracted from the site to steelmakers, predominantly outside of the UK. During 4 days of protests there were numerous banners and placards from various groups against the proposal in Cumbria.
In February 2023, vicars and other Christians protested outside the Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle offices of Ward Hadaway, lawyers for West Cumbria Mining Ltd, and the London headquarters of Javelin Global Commodities, who intend to sell coal for West Cumbria Mining Ltd. Christian Climate Action are calling on both companies to “cut the ties” with the proposed new coal mine in Cumbria. The protesters held banners with the message ‘Coal is killing humanity’ and delivered letters asking the organisations to end their involvement with West Cumbria Mining, the company behind the coal mine.
Just before Christmas (2022) a gang of Santas delivered sacks of faux coal to Michael Gove for being a very naughty boy at his Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities in an action by Coal Action Network and Lush cosmetics. The Santas held signs reading “Christmas coal for climate criminal Gove” after Gove’s approval of the coal mine application.
A wide range of groups and individuals protested at the proposed coal mine site outside Whitehaven in December 2022 during the week following the Government’s approval of work at the site. There were speeches and a commitment to ensure that this coal stays in the ground.
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.