A DECISION ON WHETHER OR NOT to grant planning permission for a controversial new coal mine in Cumbria has been delayed for a third time and is now due to be made on or before 8 December 2022.

Friends of the Earth received a letter from the government confirming the delay on 1 November. The government had been due to make a decision on or before 8 November – shortly before, or during, the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

Commenting on the latest delay, Friends of the Earth energy campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said: “The run up to next week’s climate summit was an ideal chance for the government to rebuild its battered green credentials by rejecting this damaging and unnecessary coal mine. It’s a shame they didn’t seize the opportunity.

“Secretaries of State may come and go but the case against this mine is as strong as ever. It will increase emissions, while the market for its coal is rapidly diminishing with steel plants moving to greener production methods.

“Reintroducing the fracking ban was a good first step, but if Rishi Sunak is to really keep his pledge to make climate change a priority his government must leave coal in the ground. Far more must also be done to boost renewables and home insulation to create the new jobs that areas like Whitehaven need.”

* Source: Friends of the Earth