Proponents say the mining project will create many jobs in a region that has been hit hard economically by the closure of mines and factories in recent decades. But the opposition is strong, because the construction of a coal mine goes against the global fight against climate change. Greenhouse gases from burning coal (such as in steel and power plants) are the biggest contributors to climate change. Reducing and ceasing the use and production of coal is seen as crucial to meeting climate goals.
Environmental organizations are angry about the UK government’s decision, but the UK government’s independent climate consultancy isn’t happy either. In recent years, this has generated opposition to the construction of the mine. The fact that, despite everything, permission has been obtained is not welcome. “Eliminating the use of coal is the clearest requirement to reach just zero go,” says Chairman John Gummer. “This decision is increasing global emissions.”
Of just zero Gummer is referring to the UK government’s ambitious climate targets. He has passed laws to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. In other words, be climate neutral. Critics question whether the UK will still be able to achieve that. The construction of a coal mine undermines all credibility, it seems.
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