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Cumbrian Coal Threat: UK’s Climate Goals at Risk

The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change, setting ambitious targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. However, the recent decision to allow the opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria has caused concern among environmentalists and policymakers. In this blog post, we will explore how the Cumbrian coal mine threatens the UK’s climate goals and what can be done to mitigate its impact.

The Cumbrian Coal Mine and its Impact on Climate Change

The proposed coal mine in Cumbria has the potential to produce up to 2.7 million tonnes of coal each year, which will be used for steel production. This, in turn, will lead to the emission of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gas emissions will make it even harder for the UK to achieve its climate goals, as it will negate the efforts made in other sectors to reduce emissions.

According to thinktank Green Aliance, the new mine,  Whitehaven colliery, will release 17,500 tonnes of methane annually.

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The Impact on Local Communities

The proposed coal mine will also have a significant impact on the local communities in Cumbria. The increased traffic and pollution from the mine will affect the health and wellbeing of residents, and it will also impact the local economy. The coal mine will create jobs, but these jobs will be short-lived and come at the cost of long-term environmental damage.

Alternatives to Coal Mining

There are alternatives to coal mining, such as investing in renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, which are becoming increasingly cost-effective. The UK has already made significant progress in this area, with renewable energy sources accounting for a record 47% of the country’s electricity generation in the first quarter of 2020. The government could also incentivize the use of sustainable steel production methods that do not rely on coal.

Conclusion

The opening of the Cumbrian coal mine poses a significant threat to the UK’s climate goals and the environment. The government needs to take action to prevent the mine from opening and instead invest in alternative sources of energy and sustainable steel production methods. We must act now to protect our planet and secure a better future for generations to come.

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