Video: Prof. Paul Ekins: New U.K. coal mines do not ‘save’ CO2

Two mining companies, Banks Group and West Cumbria Mining, are trying to start coal mines based on the idea that digging up coal locally is better for the climate, because otherwise it would come from abroad.

Leading resource enconomist, Professor Paul Ekins O.B.E., UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources, explains why this is’ economic nonsense’, and how digging up more coal adds to greenhouse gas emissions, no matter where it comes from.

Read Profesor Ekin’s full objection to Banks Group’s proposal for West Bradley opencast coal mine.

The video footage shows the current opencast coal extraction at Bradley, Pont Valley, County Durham. The company want to extend the operation to mine 90,000 tonnes more coal based on their incorrect claim that mining local coal saves greenhouse gas emissions.

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John H Hutchinson
3 months ago

UK should be experimenting to find new ways of producing steel. We first made steel with charcoal and discovered that coke was a better way. Mr Bessemer invented the Bessemer Converter making steel easier, quicker and to guaranteed concentrations of carbon. That was in the days of the Industrial Revolution. Why not start a new Revolution, lead the World again, and find greener ways of making steel. That we need steel cannot be denied so why not search for another, better, cleaner way.
We can do it! Lead the way and do without coal. It Can be done.

Sandra Stevens
Sandra Stevens
3 months ago

It’s high time they explored alternative means to run a business.

Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson
3 months ago

No matter how the coal is used, it will produce carbon dioxide even in the coke production and in the making of steel which makes more CO 2 as it uses the coke! These mining companies seem not to understand what happens to the coal once they have sold it on. They’re only interested in the profits!

rosemary fitzpatrick
rosemary fitzpatrick
3 months ago

|It’s simply suicidal to dig up more coal – we cannot burn it and avoid catastrophe

veronica
veronica
3 months ago

Absolute proof that the government is about as serious about the climate as they were about covid. They make up nonsensical rules to suit their own pockets and have no sense of responsibility towards the citizens of the UK or the world. Frankly you cannot teach a donkey to be a racehorse so don’t put it in a race.

Serenity
Serenity
3 months ago

Sweden are looking at fossil free steel production- why not the U.K.? There’s no need for coking coal. As the UN says, there must be no more coal mines… Cumbria County Council should read the Paris Agreement and UN SDGs & think of their wider responsibilities to the planet, environment, humanity, and future generations. Also to consider so close to Sellafield nuclear plant is just utter insanity. What if it causes earthquakes & nuclear waste is released, or worse? This decision is not one for a local council to make. The U.K. government must intervene to stop it. They are hosting COP26 after all. Actions speak louder than words..

Barry Cash
Barry Cash
3 months ago

Very well put Professor.

Stan Bloxham
Stan Bloxham
3 months ago

There has to be a greener way to produce steel. And saying that ‘local’ coal is CO2 neutral is clearly mendacious.

Barrie Lee
Barrie Lee
3 months ago

I agree with Hutchinson. For example, why can’t we research a way to use materials other than expensive and difficult to manufacture silicon to manufacture photovoltaics? If we could print a film on a sheet of plastic that could be rolled out by the tens or hundreds of square meters they could be put in the deserts or other “waste” land churning out very cheap hydrogen. Hydrogen can power blast furnaces AND is a reducing agent, so as far as I know no carbon is needed. Hydrogen can also directly power lorries and heat homes.

In the forthcoming COP meeting why not ask governments to specifically declare how much they are spending on research into new renewable energy research, AS WELL AS how much renewable energy they are producing/will be producing? As the research produces new and better answers the these answers solve the same problems for every other country in the world at the same time – it’s a very cheap and effective strategy on a worldwide scale

Professor Sir David King was a previous Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government and in 2013, he developed the Global Apollo Programme – later renamed Mission Innovation and launched on the first day of COP21 in Paris 2015. It became part of that agreement. In it he called for a worldwide, research effort on the same massive scale as the Apollo programme to get to the moon, except this time to find new techniques to tackle climate change. He argued that this would produce cheaper solutions to produce and store energy, and the money would then be put into renewables instead of fossil fuels. I still think a worldwide massive research effort to tackle climate change is the cheapest AND the quickest way to solve the problem.

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[…] “The notion that opening new coal mines in England will not lead to increasing greenhouse gas emissions is quite simply, economic nonsense,” the professor of resources and environmental policy said in a recent video. […]

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