One of Britain’s most eminent environmental scientists said it was absolutely ridiculous that the government failed to block a new coal mine in Cumbria.
Professor Robert Watson says the UK’s commitment to zero net emissions by 2050 to tackle the climate crisis is great, but we need to focus on immediate action. Britain held the United Nations climate summit Cop26 in November and Boris Johnson pledged to lead the green industrial revolution.
The British government said, “We will lead Cop26 in Glasgow. We are really interested in climate change. But by the way, we won’t ignore Cumbria’s council and we have a new coal mine. Really nonsense! Said Watson. You receive these amazing statements from the government and act completely against you.
Watson led the UN’s scientific organization on climate and biodiversity, served as a former senior scientific advisor to the UK Environment Department, and served at Bill Clinton as president of the United States. He has also held senior positions at Nasa and World Bank.
The underground mine will be the first in the UK in 30 years. Critics, including the government’s official climate adviser, say it seriously undermines Johnson’s ability to lead a successful UN summit that is considered essential to avoiding the worst effects of global heating. Ministers have repeatedly said the decision to mine was a local decision.
Supporters of the 165m mine say the mine will provide 500 jobs in the poorest areas in the United States. On Thursday, 40 Conservatives sent a letter to the leader of the Cumbria County Council, warning that stopping the mine would pose a serious risk to Cumbrias economic growth.
Congress approved the mines in October, and community and local government secretary Robert Jenrick decided not to ask for a central government decision that would be allowed if the project conflicts with national policy. Amid growing controversy, the committee said in early February it would reconsider its decision to consider climate advice issued by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) in December.
Watson said a decision to halt carbon emissions is needed immediately. Action is needed now. Many governments have told us to be zero carbon by 2050. [but] 30 years left. The key message on the climate is that emissions should be cut by 50% by 2030. We need to focus on short-term action. [just] Long-term goals and goals.
Other leading scientists criticized the mine. Professor James Hansen, who is called the godfather of climate change, told Johnson that his actions and decisions will either establish or undermine your claims of climate leadership. Professor David King, former chief scientific adviser to the British government, said mining was a big mistake.
The mine will produce 2.7 million tons of coking coal per year, which is not burned by power plants and is used for steelmaking. There is no shortage of coal worldwide, but about 85% of the coal from mines will be exported.
The mine was granted planning permits until 2049, but CCC said it may not have domestic use. [for coking coal] Green experts say steelmakers need to deploy new technologies to reduce emissions in line with the UK’s net zero target, and the green industry provides safer jobs.
The Cumbria Congress has not yet set a date for the planning committee to meet and review the mine application, but it is scheduled before the May Congressional election. It seems unlikely that the local council will overturn the original support for the mine, but Jenrick can still make a decision.
In early February, the Responsible Investor website revealed that EMR Capital, a mining financing company, had signed the UN-backed Responsible Investment Principles that should incorporate environmental, social and governance issues into the decision-making process.
The UK has cut emissions faster than any other rich country in recent decades by phased out burning coal for electricity, shutting down many national heavy industries, and importing more manufactured goods from abroad.
However, ministers have been criticized for a series of decisions opposing emissions reductions, including Europe’s largest gas power plant, Heathrow Airport’s third runway, and 27 billion put on new roads. Legal challenge. It was also reported last week that one of Johnsons’ flagship green policies, the 1.5 billion green housing subsidy plan, reached 4% of its intended homes and was likely to be scrapped.
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