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Green light for first new UK coalmine for 30 years
Michael Gove gives go ahead for coalmine that will produce 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission every year

The first new coalmine for 30 years will be built in Cumbria despite objections locally, nationally and from across the world.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove gave the go ahead for the mine which will cost an estimated £165m and produce 2.8m tonnes of coking coal a year.

It will also create around 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the equivalent of putting an extra 200,000 cars on the road.

A report by the International Energy Agency commissioned by the UK in 2022 found that no new coal, oil or gas developments could take place if the commitment to keep global temperature rises with 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is to be met.

The decision to give the new mine a green light has been met with condemnation from many quarters.

Shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband said it marked "the death knell of any claims this government has to climate leadership".

Caroline Lucas of the Green Party labelled the decision "a climate crime against humanity". She said: "Instead of backing 1000s of green jobs & sustainable, long-term economic revival, Govt has backed a climate-busting, backward-looking, stranded asset coal mine.”

Liberal Democrat MP, Tim Farron, whose constituency is in Cumbria, said that greenlighting the mine "cancels out all the progress Britain has made on renewable energy".

The government claims opening and operating the mine is possible within the UK's climate legislation which requires it to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Ministers are expecting a legal challenge to the decision.

John Martin