Proposed mine will test UK climate change efforts prior to UN conference | WGN Radio 720

Whitehaven, England (AP) — Most people see beauty in the patchwork of hills, lakes, and oceans that make up the northwest corner of England. Dave Kladak has a broken dream.

The coal mine where Kladak used to work was closed for a long time. The chemical factory that employed thousands of people is gone. Nuclear power plants have been abolished.

For 74-year-old Kladak, new coal mining plans that could bring hundreds of jobs are a source of hope.

But environmentalists see it in horror. They say the UK will send a disastrous message to Glasgow, Scotland, as it welcomes world leaders, supporters, diplomats and scientists for the United Nations Climate Change Conference starting October 31st. The two-week COP26 meeting is considered the last chance to be nailed, reducing carbon reduction promises that can keep global warming within control.

Rebecca Willis, a professor of energy and climate governance at Lancaster University, said: “It signals the world that Britain isn’t really serious.”

However, Kladak sees the mine as a sign that “at least someone is interested in the area.” He says it “will provide work to those who are mining with their blood.”

The proposed new mine symbolizes the dilemma facing the British government. We aim to generate all of the UK’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035 and reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050. Britain’s neglected northern prosperity with new factories, roads, railroads and other infrastructure that environmentalists say are at odds with the government’s green agenda.

West Cumbria Mining, hoping to build Britain’s first deep coal mine in 30 years, wants to extract coking coal (the type used to make steel, not fuel) from beneath the Irish Sea. It plans to process coal at the site of a closed chemical plant in White Haven, 340 miles (550 kilometers) northwest of London.

According to the company, this is a new kind of mine, far away from the dirty and dangerous beasts with brick and steel skeletons scattered throughout the landscape of the area. The design shows a curved modern building that blends into the surrounding hills, and the company is the world’s first Net Zero coal mine, with all carbon emissions reduced or offset by credit to the environmental organization Gold Standard Foundation. It states that it will be.

Mining company lawyer Alexander Greaves said opening a new mine may seem bad at first glance, but the project aims to be different.

“To show that these mines are created by law … is required to capture greenhouse gas emissions and offset residual effects … it’s true environmental leadership,” he said.

Environmentalists ridicule the idea.

“The fastest way to stop these carbon emissions and make a fundamental difference is to stop opening new mines, which we have to do in the next decade,” said a local opponent of the mine. Maggie Mason says. .. “The same applies to oil and gas wells.”

Nature and industry have long fought for supremacy in this part of Britain. Whitehaven is on the edge of the Lake District National Park, where its beauty influenced William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. However, the area was once the home of an industry that provided difficult and dirty work in factories and mines. But now wind turbines are spinning by the sea. This is a sign that Britain is moving from fossil fuels to renewables, producing almost half of the country’s electricity last year.

The UK government is still considering a new fossil fuel project this year as its share shrinks this year, partly due to wind shortages, soaring costs of imported natural gas and plans to crawl new nuclear power plants. ..

Elsewhere, there is a Sumburgh field in the North Atlantic west of the Shetland Islands, where Shell and Siccar Point Energy plan to extract 170 million barrels of oil. Environmental groups are trying to get the UK government to stop drilling, but the Johnson administration says it “still needs a source like Cambo” to meet Britain’s energy needs as it shifts to a low-carbon economy. Hesitate to state and intervene.

Commerce Secretary Kwasi Kwaten told the House of Commons last month that “the existing oil and gas sector needs to be moved to a decarbonized platform,” and Cambo opponents said “oil with 250,000 jobs.”・ I want a “perfect solar eclipse” for the gas industry. ” It disappears overnight. “

In West Cambria, the local government approved the mine a year ago. Mike Starkie, the mayor of the Conservative Party in the region, said it would be “transformative.”

Under pressure from opponents and its own commitment to the environment, the British government intervened in March and ordered an investigation by a planning inspector. He says he will make a recommendation around the end of the year. The UK government then makes the final decision — long after COP26 is over.

Local supporters of the mine believe they are silent majority and at risk of drowning in environmental activists. Some people gathered at the scene this month with signs stating “Part of the answer, not part of the problem” and “Cambria coke is real.”

John Grisley, who helps run the Facebook page that supports the mine, said: “And, of course, the climate wins every time, but it’s deeper than that.”


The outlaw reported from London.


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Proposed mine will test UK climate change efforts prior to UN conference | WGN Radio 720

Source link Proposed mine will test UK climate change efforts prior to UN conference | WGN Radio 720

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