On Friday September 15th, as insurers and banks faced a wave of national protest, Coal Action Network announced that five insurers have given guarantees that they will not provide cover for the planned controversial West Cumbria Coal Mine.
The insurers that have ruled out underwriting the mine are AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Argo, 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.
Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels on September 15-17th saw half a million people joining protests across the globe to call for a just transition away from coal, oil and gas in history, making it the largest climate mobilisation since the start of the pandemic. Over 400 actions, marches, rallies, and events took place around the world, coordinated by more than 780 endorsing organisations with millions of participants taking part. In the UK Protests took place in London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, York, Wrexham, Cardiff, Shrewsbury and Croydon. Hundreds of campaigners from Extinction Rebellion, Mothers Rebellion and Coal Action Network took to the streets assembling with banners and placards, at the doors of financial institutions, yet to rule out supporting the proposed mine.
They were joined by Buddhist and Quaker groups and other members of the local community. Some groups took part in theatrical actions, dressing as canaries to draw the link between the birds used in mines and the toxicity this mine will bring, while others held silent vigils.
These actions at Probitas, AXA XL, Chubb, Hiscox, Travelers, Chubb, Markel, CNA Hardy, and QBE Insurers as well as HSBC bank set out to raise awareness of the issue, by talking to passers by and staff, delivering letters to the insurers at and putting up blue plaques to publicly criticise these financial institutions and make it clear the this is No Time For A Coal Mine.
Andrew Taylor from Coal Action Network said: “The British government has ignored the pressure from people across the UK who are calling for them to stop the climate-wrecking West Cumbria coal mine, so today people have taken to the streets to demand that insurers and banks, including HSBC, turn their backs on this disastrous fossil fuel project. Four insurers stating that they won’t be involved is just the beginning.”
West Cumbria Mining Ltd wants to extract 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal annually from what would be the UK's first new underground coal mine in 30 years. The project has faced fierce public opposition with over 100k people joining the campaign and legal challenges as campaigners believe it goes against the government’s legally-binding net zero emissions target.
Claude Fourcroy, a spokesperson for Money Rebellion who supported the national day of action said: “The West Cumbria mine is incompatible with the UK’s climate commitments and will fuel climate breakdown. The City of London needs to stop funding and insuring new fossil fuels now.”
‘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…
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…
Citing different grounds to the High Court, the Court of Appeal has nevertheless found against our appeal. The Court of Appeal judges disagreed with the judge in the High Court, and decided that current statute limits Welsh Ministers to only deciding whether a new conditional licence may be issued…
Today, 6th February 2024, Coal Action Network was back in court, this time appealing last year’s decision by the court that the Welsh Government couldn’t prevent an extension at Aberpergwm coal mine.
After months of campaigning, five more major insurance companies have announced they will not support the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)!
EMR Capital, the company that owns 81% of the proposed West Cumbria Coal mine is currently operating another coking coal mine – Kestrel.
On 23 October 2023, over 30 Wales-based NGOs, businesses, and community groups signed an open letter to Wales’ Climate Change Minister, Julie James, calling for the Welsh Government to ban coal mining once and for all (sent by Climate Cymru). On 10th January 2024, Julie James wrote back…
How did we get here? Ten years of events that have led to where we currently stand with the proposed Whitehaven coal mine
Port Talbot Steelworks in South Wales is the largest producer of virgin steel in the UK. Along with British Steel steelworks in Scunthorpe, Port Talbot steelworks is expected to shut down its blast furnaces in 2024 and build a 3 million tonne (MT) electric arc furnace (EAF) to recycle scrap steel. This is a measure to reduce the steelworks CO2 footprint by cutting out coal used in traditional blast furnaces in virgin steelmaking.