20,000 objections to Druridge Bay as decision looms

21st February 2018

Campaigners are today presenting Secretary of State Sajid Javid with a petition of almost 20,000 people calling on him to reject the proposed Highthorn opencast coal mine in Northumberland.

The coastline at Druridge Bay could be desecrated by a 3 million tonne opencast coal mine, with an imminent decision expected from the Secretary of State on whether to grant approval. The government claims that one of the biggest contributions that can be made to reducing power sector emissions is to replace coal power stations with lower-carbon forms of generation. Plans to approve a new coal mine and prolong our dependency on coal would be in complete contradiction of that aim.

Friends of the Earth and local residents have been taking part in an historic Public Inquiry to try to stop the coal mine – the first time a Secretary of State has ordered an Inquiry into a fossil fuel extraction project citing climate change reasons.

Today (21 February) a letter with details of the almost 20,000 people who object to the plans will be delivered to Sajid Javid’s office at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in London, at 1:00 pm.

The Secretary of State now needs to decide whether to approve it in the face of extensive public opposition, or leave coal in the ground.

Guy Shrubsole, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said:

“Secretary of State Sajid Javid faces a critical decision – if he approves this opencast coal mine, it will devastate beautiful Druridge Bay, drive up carbon emissions and make a mockery of the government’s promises to phase out coal.

“The science is clear that we need to leave 80% of all fossil fuel unburned to avoid dangerous global warming.

“We urge the Secretary of State to be on the right side of history and leave coal in the ground.”

You can still write to him and lend your voice to helping save Druridge Bay.