Extinction Rebellion protest against west Cumbrian coal mine

Environmentalists have been protesting against the planned coal mine in west Cumbria.

The demonstration took place outside the county council's offices in Kendal. It was organised by Extinction Rebellion Cumbria.

The project, planned for a site near Whitehaven, was approved by the county council last March, and will be the UK’s first deep coal mine in 30 years.

Around 2.5 million tonnes of coal is expected to be mined from the site to supply UK and European steel-making. Currently, 45 million tonnes is imported per year from USA, Canada, Russia and Australia. It is hoped that this coal will replace that.

The project will cost £165m and is expected to create up to 500 new jobs in the area.

Plans for the new coal mine in West Cumbria were approved in March 2019 Credit: West Coast Mining

The decision is now being challenged through a judicial review.

Campaign group Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole has been granted permission to bring forward the legal challenge, which will be heard at the High Court in Manchester.

The Government’s decision to approve a new coal mine in Cumbria is a massive kick in the teeth in the fight to tackle climate change. Cumbria has so many renewable resources to provide energy - water, wind and solar - and we should most definitely not be taking the backwards step of opening a new coal mine.

Tim Farron MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale
The protesters call themselves "Canaries". Credit: ITV Border

Protesters are also unhappy with the council's decision not to declare a climate emergency.

The mine has sparked national interest, with 16-year-old London teenager Elijah McKenzie-Jackson going on hunger strike in protest.