Bishop of Lancaster Joins Call to Axe Cumbrian Coal Mine Project
The Catholic Universe reported that the Bishop of Lancaster has joined calls to ditch proposals to open a new coal mine in Whitehaven in Cumbria in UK. Bishop Paul Swarbrick said “the proposal has understandably sparked a massive national out-cry and has been met with serious opposition. The proposal flies in the face of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For a society and a Government set on achieving zero net emissions by 2050 the opening of this new mine makes the goal harder to reach. Even if it were possible to offset emissions through adopting cleaner energy sources and uses, it is a move in the wrong direction. It contradicts a policy of ‘going green. It’s a no-brainer, it shouldn’t go ahead.”
While acknowledging that a new mine would bring jobs and investment to the local area, he recalled his own experiences of living in Kells in Whitehaven, when Haig Colliery was still active and a chemical works was adjacent to his parish church and local people were subjected to toxic emissions. He recalled “I saw the damage done to property, peeling paintwork and contaminated gardens. Parishioners had to be mindful of not hanging out washing if the wind was blowing in off the sea. When the works and mine eventually closed jobs were lost, but health and environment gained.”
The bishop’s comments come as Christian MP and former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling on the government to ditch plans for the new mine.