Government faces legal case over Cumbrian coal mine

Friends of the Earth has said the government has failed to take the “significant” climate impacts of the mine into consideration

Big Zero Report 2022

Campaigners are taking legal action against the government following its recent decision to grant planning permission for a new coal mine in Cumbria.

Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth said it would file its claim later this month – the legal action will focus on the mine’s climate impact, it confirmed.

Niall Toru, a lawyer at Friends of the Earth, said: “By giving the go-ahead to this polluting and totally unnecessary coal mine the government has not only made the wrong decision for our economy and the climate, we believe it has also acted unlawfully.

“Michael Gove has failed to account for the significant climate impacts of this mine, or how the much-needed move to green steelmaking will be impacted by its approval.”

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities told ELN: “The Secretary of State has agreed to grant planning permission for a new metallurgical coal mine in Cumbria as recommended by the independent planning inspector.

“This coal will be used for the production of steel and will not be used for power generation.

“The reasons for the Secretary of State’s decision are set out in full in his published letter, alongside the report of the independent planning inspector who oversaw the inquiry into the proposal.”

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