The Carbon Column – New coal, old ways of thinking

In this article I reflect on the recent decision to approve a new coal mine in Britain

Net Hero Podcast

Climate experts and scientists: “We are in a climate crisis. We must drastically reduce emissions and change the way we live. No new fossils fuels from 2021”.

UK Government: “I know what, let’s bring back coal, the worst fossil fuel for carbon emissions”.

 

Last week Michael Gove approved Britain’s first new coal mine in 30 years.

I read this news story and thought, what planet are these people living on? It is worrying that politicians are allowed to make these decisions.

The climate crisis should not be something we can politicise. It is the biggest issue of our generation and requires collaboration across nations to adapt and mitigate any future climate disasters. Making decisions to open new coal mines will have devastating consequences for decades to come.

What does this announcement really say?

We hosted COP26 just over a year ago. We pushed to phase out coal. We were the first major economy to set net zero targets by 2050. We are ‘apparently’ climate leaders.

Overnight, this has changed.

This announcement shows the UK’s true colours. It shows our promises are hollow. It shows there is a lack of leadership and commitment towards our targets. It shows we are more bothered about the fairytale of never-ending economic growth than the livelihoods of people around the world.

Last week I wrote about The Earthshot Prize which presents awards to companies for innovative solutions to protect nature. These awards show the positive steps people are taking to protect our future, yet the government continues to undermine this.

It will not be the UK that suffers when the emissions from the coal take effect in years to come. It will be other nations that have no say.

People may argue other countries continue to use coal, but this isn’t an excuse. If the UK wants to be a climate leader and generate political power for the climate agenda, then we must lead by example. The opposite of these actions.

If you have thoughts on this or any other net zero topic, please email me or find me on LinkedIn.