Thursday 16 March 2023

Welsh coal mine expansion goes to court

Welsh coal mine expansion goes to court

Plans to expand a coal mine in South Wales are being challenged by environmental campaigners in court.

Around 40 million tonnes of coal is set to be extracted from the Aberpergwm mine, after approval in January 2022.

The campaigners claim that the Welsh government has the right to overturn this decision and that it doesn’t align with the nation’s carbon reduction targets.

The Welsh government explained that the decision to go ahead with the extraction was made before it held jurisdiction.

The case has been put forward at Cardiff Justice Centre against the Coal Authority for not considering climate aims before making the call.

In July of last year, a judicial review challenge was granted by a High Court judge for campaigners to contest the mine’s growth.

Gathering outside of the court – with the hearing expected to last two days – the campaigners allege that the coal taken from the mine would lead to 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Energybuild, which is in charge of operations at Aberpergwm, refuted these claims – stating that the majority of the coal would not be burned and used for other process like purifying water.

Leader of the Wales Green Party, Anthony Slaughter, joined the protestors outside the court, stating: “It’s making the case that this is the decision Welsh government has the power to make.

“Also, it’s challenging the Coal Authority in future decisions that it needs to take climate into account in their decision making.”

He was also joined by Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds, who added: “We are in a climate emergency and every single day we dig up more fossil fuels brings us another day closer to irreversible damage.”

Energybuild and the Welsh government have been approached for a full comment.

The Coal Authority responded: “This is an ongoing legal matter; we do not propose to comment.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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