Friends of the Earth file legal challenge over Cumbrian coal mine
Friends of the Earth has filed an application in the High Court to challenge the government’s decision to grant planning permission for a new coal mine in Cumbria.
Posted on 20 January 2023
The claim was filed by the environmental group, and served on other parties, on Friday 13th January.
Friends of the Earth, represented by Leigh Day, announced earlier this month it intended to challenge the scheme's approval.
The government has previously said it acted on advice of the independent planning inspector.
The mine, near Whitehaven, would be the UK's first major coal mine in more than 40 years.
Friends of the Earth campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said:
“Planning to open a new coal mine in the middle of a climate emergency is unthinkable. Our legal challenge focuses on how the Secretary of State dealt with evidence relating to climate change put forward by Friends of the Earth and others at the planning inquiry.
“The people of West Cumbria have been badly let down by years of government under-investment. Long-term, sustainable jobs are desperately wanted and needed.
“Hundreds of jobs could be created in the area by a programme to insulate homes which would also bring down household energy bills and cut climate emissions. How soon this happens is down to the government and when it makes the investment that is so clearly needed.
“West Cumbria should be at the forefront of the transition to a green economy that would see the UK leading the way towards a zero-carbon future.”
Rowan Smith, solicitor at Leigh Day, said:
“Of particular importance in this legal challenge is whether the Secretary of State lawfully concluded that the purchase of carbon credits would make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s net zero targets, given their achievement relied on domestic – as opposed to international – offsetting.
“Friends of the Earth’s legal claim has now been filed with the Court. It is our hope that a hearing is granted to allow full argument on these matters.”