Commenting on Cumbria County Council’s decision to reconsider their earlier decision to approve the Whitehaven coal mine, Douglas Chalmers said:

“The increase in carbon emissions from this mine alone would amount to more emissions than the Climate Change Committee has projected for all open UK coal mines up to 2050. A new mine jeopardises the UK’s goals of phasing out coal by 2035, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as undermining the UK’s COP26 Climate Change Conference Presidency and international credibility.  We do not need the mine, 85% of the coal to be produced is for export.

“The County Council has the chance to show real leadership in the fight against climate change by recognising Cumbria’s potential to be at the heart of a Green Industrial Revolution. Mining jobs have a fixed timespan. Instead, there is the potential to create jobs that will be sustainable into the future by maximising Cumbria’s significant renewable energy resources and innovating sustainable alternatives to traditional manufacturing processes. Then we could all look forward to the future Cumbria deserves rather than regretting a missed opportunity.”

Friends of the Lake District was one of 79 concerned groups that wrote to the Government last week protesting the coal mine decision.

Read more about the coal mine here


  1. COP26 – The 26th UN Climate Change Conference will take place in November 2021, in Glasgow.
  2. Coal emissions and exportation figures come from this article by Cumbrian resident and Professor of Sustainability Becky Willis:
  3. Local Government Association statistics on green jobs in their report “Local green jobs - accelerating a sustainable economic recovery”: