‘Dig coal to save the climate’: the folly of Cumbria’s plans for a new coalmine

27th May, 2021

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The proposed site of Woodhouse Colliery, a new coal mine in Whitehaven. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

It was in early 2019 that I first heard about the proposals for a new coalmine in Cumbria. It happened almost by chance. I was speaking with a local government officer who was developing the county’s economic strategy. As someone who has worked with governments on climate issues for many years, I had been asked to offer advice on how to make Cumbria a climate leader. We talked through the opportunities – investing in renewables, helping businesses reduce waste, developing Cumbria’s tourist industry.

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