The government has given the go ahead for a new coalmine in Cumbria, which will be the first to be built in the UK for 30 years.
Levelling up secretary Michael Gove agreed to invest £165 million in the project, in the hopes it will produce 2.8 million tonnes of coking coal per year, The Guardian reported.
This will be used for steelmaking, while the majority of the coal will be exported.
The Planning Inspectorate asserted there would be an “overall neutral effect on climate change” with the new coalmine, explaining that the amount of coal used in steel making would be “broadly the same with or without it”.
The coal would have otherwise been imported for steelmaking, according to a government spokesperson.
However, the new coalmine has already faced lots of criticism for potential damage to the UK’s climate change goals, producing around 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.
Shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband argued that it would not help the British steel industry, as most producers have begun to reject the use of coal, as a result of it being high in sulphur.
In addition to this, he said the new mine, which will be built in Whitehaven, would be “no solution to the energy crisis”.
Despite this, the secretary of state said greenhouse gas emissions from the coalmine are “inevitable”. To mitigate the damage, residual emissions will be offset through purchasing Gold Standard or equivalent offsets.
The final report states: “Its use is neither unusual nor inappropriate in the proposed development.”
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