Campaigners launch legal bids against new UK coal mine

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Climate activists in the UK have lodged court bids to block the country's proposed new coal mine.
Climate activists in the UK have lodged court bids to block the country's proposed new coal mine.
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Environmental campaigners have launched legal bids against the UK government's approval of the nation's first new coal mine in decades, they said on Monday citing climate change fears.

The project, located in Cumbria in northwest England, has long faced opposition from activists who argue it contradicts Britain's pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Friends of the Earth said it filed legal paperwork at the High Court in London on Friday.

Another charity, South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC), said separately it has filed legal papers at the High Court in Manchester.

The UK granted planning permission on December 7 for the project, which is being led by Australian-owned West Cumbria Mining.

That decision came after the government had announced an inquiry into the mine, to be located near the town of Whitehaven, on the edge of the Lake District National Park.

The government said the mine will produce coal to be used to make steel, not generate power, and insisted that its commitment to phase out coal power by 2024 remains in place.

But environmental groups argue that the decision, announced by senior minister Michael Gove, undermines the UK's policy.

"Planning to open a new coal mine in the middle of a climate emergency is unthinkable," said Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth.

The UK government argues that the project will create over 500 local jobs and will seek to be net zero in its operations.

Britain aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.


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