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Mining giant’s plans under public scrutiny after four year fight by tiny charity – public inquiry starts Tuesday 7 September

Written by on 06/09/2021

After a four year fight by a tiny Cumbrian charity, and unprecedented national and global concern; a four week inquiry [1] starts on Tuesday 7 September and sees a mining giant [2] face public scrutiny of its plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria.

South Lakeland Against Climate Change (SLACC) will lead [3] on a challenge to claims made by the globally connected West Cumbria Mining Company (WCM).

A national, and international, network of academics has supported SLACC’s struggle for a major and public investigation into the WCM’s proposal after the 6th UK Carbon Budget (4) was published in December 2020.

John Ashton, CBE, independent speaker, writer and former UK climate envoy (5) has praised the Kendal based charity, SLACC, for “doing an amazing job in holding WCM to account and forcing a reluctant government to hold a public inquiry”.

SLACC chair of trustees Carole Wood says:

“The public inquiry is the next stage of a long battle to highlight the damage to the climate and environment from this proposal. As a small charity we are very grateful for the global support we have received, the contributions of specialist experts, and the backing of many people who have contributed to our crowd funding”.

Maggie Mason, leading the work for SLACC says:

“Our expert witnesses show that the coal from this mine is not the type that the UK and EU steel industry needs, so it would not replace current imports. And, in any case, the European Steel industry is moving away from using coal because it has to meet stringent new targets to tackle climate change.” [6]

SLACC has worked alongside a number of sustainability groups in Cumbria, as well as national charities that include Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature and countryside charity CPRE. SLACC has also attracted over £50,000 of crowd funding this year to support its legal expenses.

For further information and regular updates about SLACC’s Cumbria Coal Mine Campaign visit their webpage.