24 May 2023
On 19 May 2023, a High Court judge gave the go ahead for two legal challenges over the government’s decision to grant planning permission for the proposed new coal mine in West Cumbria.
Carlisle Green Party parliamentary candidate Gavin Hawkton welcomed the judge's announcement: “Beyond the clear environmental concerns, arguments in favor of the mine have notably unraveled over time.
We have been told this coal is desperately needed, yet 83% is expected to be shipped abroad, and with anticipated high sulphur content, there are limits to it's potential with steel making".
"This is all at a time when the steel industry is rapidly investing in green production. The coal mines operational lifetime would itself exceed the UK steel industries target for reaching net zero emissions by 2035”. The Green Party have been pushing for a change in direction, with Cumbria well placed to be at the forefront of a green industrial revolution.
Gavin adds: "Sadly, we are held back by a regressive Conservative Party who are unwilling to truly invest in our future and level up the North”. According to the Local Government Association, there is potential for over 6,000 green jobs in Cumbria by 2030, in areas such as energy efficiency, solar power, offshore wind and low carbon heating. Close to 600 of these could be in Copeland where the mine would be built.
Gavin adds: “We should be creating skilled green jobs that would revitalise our area and help bring energy bills down". “It is the lack of political will that is really holding us back here”.