High Court refuses to hear legal challenge from climate groups against Cumbria coal mine

The mine has been a controversial issue in West Cumbria since it was announced in 2014. Credit: ITV News

The High Court has refused to hear a legal challenge from climate groups against the Cumbria coal mine.

Friends of the Earth and South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC) launched legal challenges in January in an attempt to block the construction of the mine.

The mine was approved by Communities Secretary Michael Gove in December.

Friends of the Earth and SLACC have said they will contest the High Court's refusal to hear the challenge.

Claimants have a right to a specially convened hearing to try and persuade the court to change its mind.

The organisations contend that Mr Gove failed to account for the significant climate impacts of the mine, including the acceptability of carbon credits to offset the mine’s emissions, the international precedent that opening a new mine would set and the impact of opening the mine on the global coal market.

Carole Wood, chair of SLACC, said:  “We are disappointed with this decision, but we and our legal team are firmly of the view that there are legal errors in the government’s decision to permit the mine.   

“The government sought to turn a blind eye to the climate impacts from burning the coal that will be produced by the mine, and we look forward to a hearing to consider whether this approach can be lawful.” 

Many people in Whitehaven believe the decision to approve the new coal mine was the correct one, with West Cumbria Mining promising five hundred jobs created in an economically deprived area.

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