In a first, a new UK coal mine is rejected on climate change grounds

Photo of In a first, a new UK coal mine is rejected on climate change grounds

Enlarge / Traffic passes along the A453 dual carriageway against the backdrop of Uniper SE's coal-fired power station in Ratcliffe-on-Soar, UK, on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images (credit: Getty Images)

Britain's Communities Secretary rejected plans for a new Northumberland open-pit coal mine, citing climate change concerns. The rejection was the first of its kind to rest on climate change concerns in the United Kingdom. The country has committed to phasing out coal use at power plants by 2025.

Member of Parliament Sajid Javid overturned the recommendation of the UK planning inspector as well as the Northumberland county council's approval last week, according to the Financial Times. The project would have been completed before 2025 and would have employed about 100 people. Still, the mine would have been situated near Druridge Bay and would have destroyed landscape and heritage assets, in addition to contributing to climate change.

The Guardian posted a detailed memo (PDF) from the Communities Ministry explaining that Javid "concludes that overall the scheme would have an adverse effect on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change of very substantial significance, which he gives very considerable weight in the planning balance."

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