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Help us to stop the Whitehaven coal mine proposal by writing to your MP

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 the Cabinet reshuffle in July there is a new Minister, Greg Clark responsible for this decision.

Write to your MP now to ask that they make Greg Clark, the Secretary of State responsible for the decision, aware of your concerns.

Find out who is the MP for your area.

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.

 

Anti-coal workshop - Earth First! Summer gathering

Whitehaven coal mine decision due - Russia's invasion of Ukraine is no excuse to mine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t an excuse to mine more British coal

The invasion by Russia of Ukraine is unjust and unjustifiable. It’s logical for other governments to try to cut off the money for the Russian regime, by stopping buying Russian products including coal. The UK government has announced that it will stop buying Russian coal and oil by the end of this year and Russian gas “as soon as possible thereafter”. The European Union’s timetable is faster – no Russian coal to be bought after mid August 2022. Prior to this conflict Russia supplied around 40% of the coal consumed in European power stations and steel works.

Several years ago West Cumbria Mining Ltd, backed by an Australian company, EMR Capital, applied to extract coal from a new underground coking coal mine under the sea by Whitehaven, Cumbria. After a legal challenge the company is seeking to extract 2.78 million tonnes of coal a year until 2049. The Secretary for State for Housing Communities and Local Government said that the UK government would decide whether this application should be allowed to go ahead which lead to a planning inquiry in September 2021. The Planning Inspector has now written his report and made his recommendation on whether or not to stop this application to the now Secretary of State, Michael Gove. The Inspectors report will be made public when Gove announces his decision.

Gove’s department has said that a decision on this application will be given on or before the 17th August 2022 (originally 7th July 2022).

West Cumbrian Mining Ltd (WCM), the company behind the application say that if this coal were extracted 83% of the coal would be sold abroad. Only 13% of this coal is expected to be used by UK steelworks (it is coking coal, a purer coal than that normally used in power stations). On the company’s website and at the planning hearing WCM focussed on extracting coal in Cumbria and displacing coal imported to the UK from the USA, not Russia.

There are now some calls from long term proponents of the mine such as Mike Starkie, the Conservative mayor of Copeland, the constituency that includes Whitehaven, to approve this application on the basis of the invasion. Others have suggest allowing the extension application at Abepergwm in order to stop the UK’s use of Russian coal. However no-one who previously thought coal at either site should stay in the ground has been convinced by this argument. The rational is misleading and counterproductive as shown in this brilliant article by Ukrainian climate activist Svitlana Romanko.

Prominent economist, Dr Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at University College London says that, “There is no evidence to suggest that coal from the new mine would result in reductions in coal extracted from mines overseas. Basic economic theory suggests that ... an increase in the supply of a commodity such as coking coal will reduce the price of the commodity, leading to increased demand, and therefore increased emissions. This is a normal feature of economic markets”.

Comparably increasing coal production in the UK won’t impact whether or not coal is mined in Russia. There are several countries still buying large amounts of Russian coal. However, decarbonisation of the two primary steel producers – Port Talbot Steel works and Scunthorpe steelworks - will reduce coal demand significantly and reduce emissions, while keeping most steel workers in their jobs.

A banner reading "Leave Cumbrian Coal Underground" is held by 5 protestors outside the Ministry of Levelling up in London, on a sunny day.Additionally and crucially, the British Steel industry isn’t behind the Whitehaven proposal either:

Chris McDonald, chief executive of the Materials Processing Institute and chair of the UK Metals Council said, “I think it’s important to be clear that even if this mine opened tomorrow, it would not displace a single tonne of Russian coking coal from the UK – and I can say that with confidence”. Tata Steel already does not use any Russian coking coal. British Steel have said they can’t use the coal from Cumbria because the sulphur levels are too high. So there’s no possibility that a new mine can meaningfully displace any Russian imports.

While the end of Russian coal imports to the UK and Europe is something Coal Action Network and others have been campaigning for, we grieve for the way in which it has come about.

While the UK government may wish to hide its bad decision making behind world events, justifying a new coal mine because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine doesn’t add up. COP26 agreements need to be honoured and coal at Whitehaven needs to stay where it is – underground.

Aberpergwm and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act

The Well-being of Future Generations Image

There is a law in Wales that helps the country all work together to improve the environment, the economy, the society and the culture. For people, for the planet. For now, and for the future. It is called the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Is a coal mine extension at Aberpergwm compatible with this Act? It seems unlikely given that one of the seven areas considered by the act is "A Globally Responsible Wales", while another is a "Healthier Wales" (see image above).

The Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, wrote to Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change on the 31st March 2022 and 17th May 2022 asking "what the position of Welsh Government would be if it is indeed shown that the cancellation of the license is within your remit, and how the Well-being of Future Generations Act would be taken into account in such a case.". The Welsh Government is one of the two bodies Coal Action Network is taking to judicial review regarding Aberpergwm.

So far [31st May] there has been no response from the Deputy Minister. We will keep you posted if anything is received as the Commissioner puts the letters into the public domain.

If Aberpergwm were to be extended, the main consumer of the coal would be TATA's Port Talbot steelworks which is the biggest single source of carbon emissions in Wales. Just the act of mining the coal would release an unacceptable 1.17 million tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide. At Coal Action Network we know that this coal must stay underground.

Published: 01.06.2022

Coal round up February 2022

The situation with coal production and use in the UK is changing. There are no new opencast mines proposed; only one proposed opencast coal extension and one existing opencast extraction site. However there are three new underground coal mine applications or extensions proposed and there was an increase in coal use in power stations between 2020 and 2021.

Coal use in power stations

As you can see from the image above coal use in power stations has dropped dramatically since 2012, when 43% of electricity in the UK grid was produced from coal combustion, to just 1.72% in 2020.

Coal use hit a record low in 2020 supplying 253 TWh to the grid, and increased slightly the following year to 267 TWh, as the economy ramped back up from covid-19. (The data for 2022 is only for the first fortnight of the year). Thanks to MyGridGB for this data.

Underground mining

There are presently three applications for new/ extended underground coal mines.

Proposed underground mines

Aberpergwm Colliery (Energybuild Ltd) in Neath port Talbot had planning permission for a 40+ million tonne underground (anthracite) coal mine approved in 2018. The Coal Authority offered the coal company, a license to extract coal in January 2022. Coal Action Network are currently considering legal action against the Coal Authority and Welsh Government for failing to stop the mine being licenced.

Lochinvar (Australian New Age Explorations) are applying for licences for an underground coking coal mine at Lochinvar in three sections, on the Scottish border. If constructed the company hopes to be producing coal until 2044. The first of the three areas would supply an average 1.4 million tonnes of coal each year.

Woodhouse Colliery proposed by West Cumbria Mining had its proposal for a new 1.78 million tonne per year underground coking coal mine off Whitehaven, Cumbria called in by the Secretary of State in 2021. The Planning Inspectorate ran a Public Inquiry in September 2021 and the report is expected to be given to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove imminently.

Opencast coal extraction

There is currently an application to extend a previously operated mine at Glan Lash in Camarthanshire by Bryn Bach Coal.

The last existing opencast coal mine in the UK is Ffos-y-fran, operated by Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd in Merthyr Tydfil, it is widely reported to be due to close in October 2022.

UK steel producers

There are four major UK steel producers, half are using coking coal and produce much higher emissions that the two which recycle scrap steel.

Tata Steel
Port Talbot steel works, in Neath Port Talbot, Wales, is the second biggest UK single site emitter of carbon dioxide.[1] The plant uses coking coal to make steel in blast furnaces.

British Steel
Currently British steel’s Scunthorpe plant can use a maximum of 25% to 30% recycled content using Basic Oxygen Steel making. It currently uses coking coal.

Liberty

Liberty Steel, which has sites in Newport and in Tredegar, has said it aims to become a carbon-neutral steel producer by 2030. The site currently uses Electric Arc Furnaces and recycles scrap metal so does not use coking coal.

Celsa

Celsa’s Cardiff steelworks uses 100% recycled scrap steel in its products and so does not need coking coal.

For more details see our report Coal in Steel.

Power station closures

Ratcliffe on Soar power was given a contract to supply 411 MW to the grid from coal in 2022/23 at a Capacity Market auction in Feb 2022. Ratcliffe's owner Uniper plans to turn the power station into an incinerator for household waste and produce heat and electricity operational by 2026. It has secured planning permission.

Drax power station is supposed to have stopped burning coal this year. However it has offered that it could stay online until 2024 to the UK government.

EDF are closing their West Burton coal power station in September 2022.

Kilroot coal and oil power station in Northern Ireland is going to be converted to gas. It has been announced that Kilroot will stop consuming coal in September 2023.

Coal phase-out in the UK is expected by October 2024. Given that coal consumption in power stations is very low in the summer, the last generation could be April 2024.

Want to help in the fight against coal?

Reference

[1] The Coal Authority, Production and Manpower returns for three month period January to March 2020 and other sources.

Queries and media contact: info @ coalaction . org .uk (without spaces)

52 people tragically killed in mining explosion in Kemerovo region of Russia

We are deeply saddened to hear that yesterday (25th November 2021) a suspected methane explosion killed 52 people, including 6 rescuers, at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine. The underground mine lies close to the town of Gramoteino, in the heavily mined Kuzbass coal field.

The company operating this mine - SDS – Ugol - is one of Russia’s three biggest coal producers, it exports coal to Europe, including to British power stations. The Kuzbass region where this mine is located is the main area in Russia for export to Europe.

This is sadly not the first accident at this mine, an earlier methane blast in 2004 which killed 13 people and in 1981 another explosion killed five people. Coal mining releases methane which is poisonous, highly flammable and a strong contributor to green house gas emissions.

In the Kuzbass there are large opencast coal mines as well as many underground mines. There is little other work other than coal mining and associated industries in the area, but the consequences of mining coal are numerous. In addition to industrial accidents they include – water pollution, dust from mining and waste tips, higher incidences of cancers; waste tips blotting the landscape and contributing to smog; loss of wilderness areas for hunting, fishing and wildlife; and the destruction of entire villages to enable mine expansion. For more info see our 2018 report, Slow Death in Siberia.

Coal Action Network and Russian environmental group Ecodefense met with HSBC in 2016. HSBC told us that in order for them to consider ending investments in a coal company there needs to have been an accident killing at least 5 people. HSBC are you financing SDS-UGOL?

This tragic loss of life in Russia is strongly linked to the UK and other European nations which consume coal from the Kuzbass. While the UK plans to phase-out coal power in 2024, some of the coal remaining in British stockpiles at power stations could well have been mined at Listvyazhnaya.

Our thoughts are with the bereaved families and the entire community surrounding this mine.

Sources include: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/25/dozens-trapped-underground-in-siberia-after-fatal-coalmine-fire, https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211125-six-dead-dozens-missing-after-siberia-coal-mine-accident and https://hcsds.ru/en/holding/business-model/sds-ugol

Johnson's first comment on proposed Cumbrian coal mine

On the first day of the Conference of Parties Climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow Boris Johnson for the first time has said that he is not in favour of a new coal mine in the UK.

Exactly what Boris Johnson said can be heard here: https://twitter.com/NiranjanAjit/status/1455107998481850371

Johnson has since reiterated the statement that he doesn't want more coal mines but fails to acknowledge that as the Prime Minister he can stop it happening, while putting too much faith in carbon capture and storage to enable oil and gas projects in the UK.

Tommy Greene tells the story in Left Foot Forward.

"Campaigners seize on Boris Johnson’s opening day coal comments at COP26

'A new coal mine in Cumbria would result in approximately an additional 9 million tonnes of carbon emissions being released every year to 2049 and so is unacceptable'.

Coal mine

Environmental groups have urged Boris Johnson to show he is serious about climate change by axing plans for a new coal mine in west Cumbria, after he appeared to signal opposition to the scheme.

The use of coal in energy production and industrial processes has long been set to occupy one of the highest-priority positions on the agenda at the Cop26 UN climate talks, billed as ‘last chance saloon’ to keep global warming within the relatively-manageable levels of 1.5C that scientists forecast.

Yet, critics say, the UK government’s attempts to facilitate ambitious new international pacts around fossil fuel divestment have been complicated by the protracted battle over what would be the UK’s first new deep coal mine in more than 30 years near Whitehaven, along the Cumbrian coast.

Its hopes of positioning itself as a climate leader internationally have also been undermined by the bitter row that has emerged from the mining application, which has placed ‘Red Wall’ Tory MPs at odds with some of the government’s leading ministers and chief climate scientists.

After having waved through the plans – citing the importance of ‘local’ concerns – Boris Johnson’s administration was pushed into calling a public inquiry earlier this year, following weeks of pressure from civil society and from quarters within his own government.

He has also infuriated former mining communities when he claimed during the summer that pit closures under Margaret Thatcher had given the UK a “big early start” in the fight against climate change.

But, this morning, the UK Prime Minister for the first time indicated that he was personally opposed to the proposals to extract around 2.7 million tonnes of metallurgical (or coking) coal from underneath the Irish seabed each year, in a project that could run until 2049.

“I’m not in favour of more coal,” he told The BBC. “But it is not a decision for me, it is a decision for the planning authorities.”

The planning inspector presiding over the Cumbrian application is due to publish his recommendations coming out of the four-week-long inquiry that was eventually held into the proposed scheme in September.

But, contrary to Johnson’s suggestion, the final decision rests with Whitehall and will be handed down by the minister for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove.

Consequently, environmental organisations campaigning against the controversial project in west Cumbria have sought to hold Johnson’s feet to the fire in light of the comments.

Anne Harris, from the Coal Action Network, told Left Foot Forward such a move would be key to avoiding further international embarrassment for the UK and would “indicate the government is serious about tackling climate change.”

She said: “A new coal mine in Cumbria would result in approximately an additional 9 million tonnes of carbon emissions being released every year to 2049 and so is unacceptable.

“Boris Johnson’s comment today that the proposed Cumbrian coking coal mine shouldn’t go ahead is a really positive step. However, the Prime Minister can stop this application from going ahead by requiring that all Government departments implement their own Government’s Net Zero commitment in all decisions, which is a logical step.

“It would indicate the government is serious about tackling climate change. For example, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities could include Net-Zero as the threshold for any new planning consideration in Michael Gove’s upcoming Planning Bill.

“That would avoid the next coal mine application embarrassment for the government.”

Friends of the Earth, meanwhile, stressed that an exemption could not be made for coal with industrial end use after a series of proposals to extract thermal coal for UK power stations were defeated last year. It is thought that around 15% of the coal dug up by West Cumbria Mining Ltd (WCM) would go towards domestic steelmaking, with the remainder to be exported.

“Actions speak louder than words,” campaigner Tony Bosworth told Left Foot Forward.

“If Boris Johnson is not in favour of more coal, why did it take his government so long to ‘call in’ planning permission for a new coal mine in Cumbria?

“The prime minister’s push for an early end to coal must cover industrial uses too, not just power generation. The climate doesn’t differentiate between the two.”

He also blasted Johnson for suggesting the upcoming decision simply lay with local bodies or planning authorities – a position that saw the government threatened with legal action earlier this year.

He said: “It’s not local planning authorities who will decide if the Cumbria coal mine is built, as Boris Johnson appears to believe.

“The final decision will rest with his government, based on the evidence presented at the recent public inquiry, which overwhelmingly showed permission should be refused.”

WCM has been contacted for comment.

Tommy Greene is a freelance journalist" [copied from an article on Left Foot Forward]

People from Across the World hold Climate Memorial at Lloyd’s of London

Today, the 29th October, on the eve of COP26 climate talks held in Glasgow, Coal Action Network were joined by Youth Strikers from across the world and the Pacific Climate Warriors, to set up a climate justice memorial at Lloyd’s of London HQ. The climate memorial was created to remember communities on the front lines of climate breakdown, who are being directly impacted by harmful projects and climate impacts.

The Lloyd’s of London insurance market, one of the world's largest insurers of fossil fuel projects.

Elara from Coal Action Network said “The memorial brought to life the memories of every person harmed by the injustices of the climate crisis. We’ve laid wreaths naming climate wrecking projects we want Lloyd’s of London to rule out underwriting today, and help to prevent billions of lives being destroyed by climate impacts. Lloyd’s needs to stop ignoring the climate science and communities being affected by climate breakdown.”

Protesters were joined by 20 Friday for Future MAPA youth strikers, some from communities most affected by climate change globally (including Bangladesh, Philipines, Argentina, Nigeria). Members of the Pacific Climate Warriors who have been calling on Lloyd’s to stop insuring the Adani Carmichael coal mine, brought flowers native to the Pacific Islands to add to the memorial. Representatives gave testimonies from their communities, which included those on the front lines of fossil fuel projects and climate impacts.

Joseph Sikulu from Pacific Climate Warriors said "Our communities grapple with climate impacts everyday. As sea levels rise we risk losing everything. The insurance industry should also understand the business risks of climate change. Climate fuelled disasters like hurricanes and wildfires are costing the industry billions. It is in our shared interests to act by stopping the major driver of global warming: coal. Lloyd's of London must show leadership now and act on the climate crisis by refusing insurance for climate wrecking coal projects like Adani’s Carmichael mine in Australia.”

Lloyd’s in an insurance market, composed of many underwriters and insurance companies. Lloyd’s is known for insuring projects that no one else will, which increasingly includes climate-destroying fossil fuel projects, making it a major global energy insurer.

In 2020, Lloyd’s published a Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. Campaigners said today that its commitments are not enough. Lloyd’s still allows members to acquire new business in these sectors, and is continuing to provide them cover until 2030. There is no mention of insurance and investment in coking coal, or other gas and oil projects, despite Lloyd’s being amongst the four largest insurers of fossil fuel projects. Click here for further information on how Lloyd’s of London helps fuel the climate crisis.

Members of the public laid hundreds of flowers and messages to Lloyd’s of London from over 4,500 people across the world were hung outside the offices, as well as delivered to Lloyd’s Chairman, Bruce Carnegie Brown. These messages are also visible at: https://lloydsmemorial.netlify.app/

Staff were asked to speak to senior management in Lloyd’s about ruling out insuring all fossil fuels, including specific fossil fuel projects like the Adani coal mine, tar sands carrying TransMountain pipeline, the proposed West Cumbrian coal mine, and the Cambo oilfields. The group also called on Lloyd’s to rule out any possible involvement with the Silvertown Tunnel, and for Lloyd’s to pay compensation for climate impacts.

Elara from Coal Action Network said “The climate crisis is harming the poorest and least responsible of us first and worst. The blame falls squarely at the feet of executives at corporations like Lloyd’s of London. Day after day they decide to profit from death and chaos, by underwriting projects that will lead to climate breakdown, while refusing to insure everyday people against the floods and wildfires they are helping to create.”

This action is the latest to target Lloyd’s of London, including Coal Action Networks previous climate memorial earlier this month on the 8th October. The action today forms part of a Defund Climate Chaos day of action, with groups across the world will take similar actions on the doorsteps of a range of financial and insurance institutions. At Lloyd’s, Coal Action Network’s memorial was preceded today by an ‘oil’ spill at their entrance, organised by others as part of the Defund Climate Chaos day of action. Coal Action Network are also facilitating a climate memorial in Newcastle at the offices of Lloyd’s syndicate Chubb insurance this afternoon.

Climate Justice Memorial at Lloyd’s of London

Today [8th October 2021], protesters from Coal Action Network set up a climate justice memorial at the Lloyd’s of London Head Quarters. Lloyd’s accounts for 40% of the total global energy insurance premium and is a key influencer in the global insurance industry. The climate memorial was set up to remember communities on the front lines of climate breakdown who are directly impacted by harmful projects and climate impacts. 

The memorial involved hundreds of flowers and floral wreaths, saying "REMEMBER - RISE - RESIST" and naming some of the projects which Lloyd's must commit to excluding from its insurance cover, being laid outside the Head Quarters. Testaments from communities on the front lines of fossil fuel projects and climate impacts were read out and delivered to staff in the building.

Protesters from Coal Action Network set up a climate justice memorial at Lloyd’s of London to remember communities on the front lines of climate breakdown who are directly impacted by harmful projects and climate impacts. The memorial involved hundreds of flowers and floral wreaths being laid outside. Flowers with over 600 individual messages from people across the UK were handed out to staff going in and out of the Lloyd’s building. Staff were asked to speak to senior management in Lloyd’s about ruling out insuring all fossil fuels, as well as, various fossil fuel projects including the Adani Coal mine, tar sands TransMountain pipeline, West Cumbria coal mine, and the Cambo oilfields. The group also called for Lloyd’s to pay compensation for climate impacts. This action is the latest to target Lloyd’s of London and the memorial is the first of many being planned.

Elara from Coal Action Network said “Through the memorial we will bring to life the memories of every person harmed by the injustices of the climate crisis. We’ve laid wreaths naming climate wrecking projects we want Lloyd’s to rule out underwriting today, and help to prevent billions of lives being destroyed by climate impacts.”

Flowers with over 600 individual messages from people across the UK were handed out to staff going in and out of the Lloyd’s building. Staff were asked to speak to senior management in Lloyd’s requesting Lloyd's ruling out insuring all fossil fuels, as well as, various fossil fuel projects including the Adani coal mine, tar sands TransMountain pipeline, West Cumbria coal mine, and the Cambo oilfields. The group also called for Lloyd’s to pay compensation for the climate impacts. 

Elara from Coal Action Network said “The climate crisis is harming the poorest and least responsible of us first and worst. The blame falls squarely at the feet of executives at corporations like Lloyd’s of London. Day after day they decide to profit from death and chaos, by underwriting projects that will lead to climate breakdown, while refusing to insure everyday people against the floods and wildfires they are helping to create.”

This action is the latest in a series by several different groups to target Lloyd’s of London. Previous actions have included fake coal being dumped outside the building, green paint being thrown on various insurance offices and thousands of people contacting staff to ask them to stop underwriting fossil fuels.

This memorial is the first of many being planned. On the 29th October, as part of a Defund Climate Chaos day of action, groups across the world will take similar actions on the doorsteps of a range of financial and insurance institutions. Coal Action Network confirms that we will be returning to Lloyd’s Head Quarters on that date. Join us on the 29th in London or Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Final day of public inquiry into proposed Cumbrian coking coal mine

South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC) has been instrumental in the battle against a proposed 2.78 million tonne a year coking coal mine, proposed for West Cumbria.

The group have written this (slightly edited) update for today, the final day of the Public Inquiry.

"It has been an extraordinary 4 weeks. International scientists and climate experts presented evidence against the proposed Cumbrian coking mine on behalf of SLACC and Friends of the Earth, while WCM made almost daily amendments to its proposals and evidence to try and defend its position.

It is clear from the evidence given that the WCM mine will not be "net zero" in terms of carbon, and granting it permission would make it harder for the UK to meet the urgent challenge of climate change

With your help, SLACC has managed to bring together an amazing team of professionals, academics and experts to try and stop the mine. SLACC is a small charity with less than 100 members, but with your help, we have made a coherent and well researched case against new coal mines.  There is no time for delay.

You can watch the Inquiry live on Youtube as the final scenes play out, or scan through each day at your leisure afterwards.

Paul Brown, the Barrister for Friends of The Earth is scheduled to start his Closing Statement at about 1pm. It might be later, because the discussion on planning conditions in the morning may "overrun".

Estelle Dehon for SLACC may start at about 2.30pm, followed by West Cumbria Mining.

Rebecca Willis, Professor in Energy & Climate Governance, Lancaster University has been watching the Inquiry and said today “West Cumbria Mining claims that the planning inspector should ignore the carbon emissions that come from burning the coal from the mine. But the climate won’t ignore these emissions. The UK has a legal commitment to far-reaching climate action, and this mine takes us in exactly the wrong direction.”

The team at SLACC is hoping that we will not be too far "out of pocket" when our last few invoices come in, but are keeping our fundraising page open for now in case!"

The digital inquiry closes today. The inspector will then privately deliberate the evidence presented, write up a report and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who is now Michael Gove. In turn Michael Gove will look at the report and decide whether or not the mine can go ahead. There is no timetable released for the completion of the report, nor a date for when the government will make a decision.