New £165m coal mine in Cumbria ‘unanimously approved’ by councillors despite escalating climate change crisis – by Tom Embury-Dennis (Independent – March 19, 2019)

A new £165m coal mine has been unanimously approved by councillors in Cumbria, sparking protests by environmental campaigners. Cumbria County Council said it was putting jobs above climate change concerns after its development committee approved the plan on Tuesday afternoon.

West Cumbria Mining, which filed the application, wants to extract coking coal along the coastline between Whitehaven and St Bees in Copeland and process the fossil fuel at a plant nearby.

Last week, Copeland’s Conservative MP Trudy Harrison “wholeheartedly” endorsed the proposed undersea mine, touting new jobs and the “huge” investment it would bring to the area. International trade secretary Liam Fox has also given his backing to the project.

But critics accused the council of ignoring the current climate crisis, which is increasingly causing extreme and dangerous weather events across the globe. Parts of the US midwest are currently suffering from record-breaking floods, while southern Africa is attempting to cope with an unprecedented cyclone which may have killed more than 1,000 people.

“Cumbrian coal mine application vote – approved unanimously, by Labour, Lib Dem and Tory councillors. How can this shower be in charge of something so big? Shame on you all,” tweeted Gwen Harrison, a local climate activist who attended the meeting.

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