COP26 Climate Champion says Cumbrian mine will not happen

Nigel Topping, the person appointed by the UK government as High Level Champion for Climate Action at COP26, has suggested that a proposed coalmine in Cumbria won’t be built.

‘Regarding the local decision in Cumbria to allow the opening of a metallurgical coal mine, the government has decided to hold an enquiry. I don’t think that mine will ever happen,’ Topping told Alliance.

Woodhouse Colliery, off the coast of St. Bees, would be the new first deep mine in Britain in the last thirty years, and work on the mine could begin as early as the fourth quarter of this year.

Objectors say the mine will increase the UK’s carbon emissions and go against the government’s pledge for the country to reduce its carbon footprint.

Topping’s assertions follow the government’s decision earlier this year not to call in the application for the minein Woodhouse in Cumbria after the county council approved the development which is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in an unemployment blackspot.

The UK government subsequently announced there will be a public enquiry on the issue to be held in September this year.

According to climate protest group Extinction Rebellion, the results of the inquiry won’t be acted on until after COP26, which has effectively allowed the government to delay the decision to avoid embarrassing itself on the world stage.

As reported by Emerging Risks, Insurance Rebellion also said that the coal from the Cumbrian mine has been reported as intended for use in steelmaking in the UK, but British Steel has confirmed that it will not be able to use the steel because of its high sulphur content, meaning 90% of the coal extracted would actually be exported.

It is also known that the use of coking coal in steelmaking could and should be displaced completely by 2035 to achieve climate deadlines, well before the planned retirement date of the mine in 2049 (just one day before the UK’s current net-zero target date).

Insurance Rebellion said that investing in the coal mine will only slow down the immediately necessary decarbonisation of steel, making it much harder for global temperature rises to be held to the safe level of 1.5°C.