The setting secretary has given his backing to a new coal mine in Cumbria the day earlier than the federal government is because of determine whether or not to greenlight the controversial venture.
George Eustice informedThe Timesnewspaper that the choice was “outsourcing air pollution” to international locations the place requirements can be decrease.
“If we do want this coal with a purpose to have a viable metal business, then we’d as properly use our personal coal and use our personal gasoline moderately than be reliant on different international locations,” he informed the newspaper.
His remarks come after Boris Johnson appeared to trace final month that he supported the venture.
“It is not sensible to be importing coal… when we have now our personal home assets,” he informed parliament.
If the coal mine, close to Whitehaven, will get the go forward from the federal government it should be the first new deep coal mine since the 1980s and can extract coking coal from beneath the Irish Sea, 85 per cent of which can be exported.
The coking coal can be utilized by the metal business, however critics have mentioned it’s pointless now that hydrogen and electricity-based applied sciences can be utilized to make metal.
The chairman of the impartial Local weather Change Committee, Lord Deben, final week mentioned that constructing a brand new coal mine in Cumbria can be “completely fallacious.”
“There is no such thing as a want for it, it doesn’t assist,” he mentioned, after the committee revealed a blistering evaluation of the government’s net zero strategy in which it found “scant evidence” that local weather targets might be delivered.
“What’s extra economically it won’t assist the investor, as a result of we’re not going to have the ability to use the coal within the metal business after the mid 2030s,” Lord Deben added concerning the mine.
Michael Gove, the levelling-up, communities and housing secretary, is because of decide on the venture by Thursday however it’s a self-imposed deadline so it might theoretically slip.
Associates of the Earth power campaigner, Tony Bosworth, has beforehand mentioned: “The proof towards this mine is overwhelming.”
“It will improve carbon emissions and its market is already beginning to decline because the metal business accelerates its transfer to creating metal with out coal-powered blast furnaces,” he mentioned. “Nor will it exchange Russian imports – business physique UK Metal says metal vegetation on this nation not use Russian metallurgical coal.”
In The Instances interview, Mr Eustice additionally addressed the issue of fracking about which he mentioned there was a “weaker” argument than mining for coal as a result of the standard of the gasoline that it yields was “a lot decrease” than pure gasoline.
Earlier this 12 months, the government announced a review on fracking.
The government asked the British Geological Survey to evaluate the proof and report again by June “on the geological science of shale gasoline fracking and the modelling of seismic exercise in shale rocks within the UK”.
The Unbiased has contacted the Division for Atmosphere, Meals and Rural Affairs for remark.
The Division for Levelling Up mentioned a call on the mine can be issued “shortly.”