Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has demanded that controversial plans for a new deep coal mine in Cumbria must now be axed, after the Government announced it will be speeding up its target to cut carbon emissions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently committed the UK to slash emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared with 1990 levels.
However, campaigners estimate that the Cumbrian coal mine will produce over 8 million tonnes of CO2 every year – equivalent to the emissions created from more than a million households.
Proposals to open the new coal mine in Whitehaven, Cumbria, have been met with serious opposition from environmentalists, as well as the Bishop of Lancaster, who said it contradicts the Government’s “policy of ‘going green’”.
Many rejoiced last month, as the Government announced that a public inquiry would determine the future of the mine later this year.
One staunch opponent of the proposals, local MP Tim Farron said the “bonkers plan” should definitely be over now, given the UK Government’s recent move to enshrine in law its ambitious climate change target to cut emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.
In announcing the significant move, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We want to continue to raise the bar on tackling climate change, and that’s why we’re setting the most ambitious target to cut emissions in the world.”
However, Mr Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, pointed out that in order to commit to this target, the coal mine proposals must now be ripped up.
“This is a very welcome announcement from Government and must surely signal the end for the Cumbria coal mine,” he said.
“If we are to achieve these much more ambitious carbon reduction targets, then there’s simply no way on earth that the public inquiry can approve this coal mine.
“It’s time for the Government to finally kill off this bonkers plan for a coal mine and instead focus on using Cumbria’s fantastic natural resources to create new green jobs.”
Picture: An artist’s impression of the mining site near Whitehaven, Cumbria. (West Cumbria Mining Company).