February 23, 2024

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The UK approves its first coal mine in decades, angering environmentalists as energy costs soar

The UK approves its first coal mine in decades, angering environmentalists as energy costs soar

The United kingdom This week it approved the first new coal mine in 30 years, sparking outrage among environmentalists who say the move is a step backwards for the country’s ambitions for clean renewable energy.

The decision on the mine in Cumbria, northwest England, came hours after the Conservative-led government overturned a ban on new building. Onshore wind farms in Britain. Some opponents considered this a cynical attempt to offset criticism of the mine’s decision.

FILE: An offshore wind farm visible from shore in Hartlepool, England, Tuesday, November 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein/AP Newsroom)

Meanwhile, supporters say the mine will provide much-needed jobs in an area hit hard by mine and factory closures in recent decades.

Mine’s decision comes because many homes and businesses have seen their energy bills double or, in some cases, triple in the past year. Russian invasion of Ukraine It also in February led to a rise in gas prices in Britain, prompting the government to boost domestic energy supplies.

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Wind will produce more than a quarter of the UK’s electricity in 2021. But the Conservative government since 2015 has opposed new wind turbines on land due to local opposition. The majority of UK wind farms are offshore.

Running for the leadership of the Conservative Party in the summer, incumbent Prime Minister Sunak vowed to maintain the ban. But amid growing calls for change from conservative lawmakers, the government said on Tuesday it may allow wind farms in areas supported by communities, pending “technical advice”.

“Decisions about onshore wind sites will continue to be taken at the local level because they are best taken by local representatives who know their areas best and are democratically accountable to the local community,” the government said in a statement.

Britain’s only Green lawmaker, Caroline Lucas, said an end to the ban on wild winds was welcome, although “the devil is in the details”.

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But if that means ‘buy’ give green And she wrote on Twitter before announcing the mine’s approval.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.