Environmental activists dumped a tonne of coal outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in Westminster today.
Friends of the Earth is urging the government to “leave fossil fuels in the ground”, claiming almost 10,000 supporters signed its petition.
The organisation is also calling on energy ministers to make a “simple change” to the planning rules to stop new opencast coal mines.
The demonstration comes on the day world leaders are signing the landmark climate deal agreed in Paris last year.
Friends of the Earth stated: “That means we need to leave nearly all proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Yet the UK Government continues to allow vast opencast coal mines to be dug next door to communities and beauty spots across the country.
“Ministers have promised to phase out coal-fired power stations – so if we’re going to stop burning coal, we need to stop digging it up. If we’re going to stop catastrophic climate change, it’s time to lock fossil fuels in the ground.”
A DECC spokesperson said: “We are the first country to propose an end date for all unabated coal-fired power stations as part of our plans for a cleaner energy future, set on a secure base of gas and nuclear. We will carry out a consultation on proposals this Spring.”
Earlier this week environmental and human rights protesters took to the streets of London calling for an end to subsidies given to energy company Drax.