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MINING: Consign coal to history

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Despite the criticism from Banks Mining (Northumberland Gazette, July 12), MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan is right to call for a ban on further opencast coal mines.

Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth supported local campaign group Save Druridge to ensure the opencast mine application at Druridge Bay was rejected. This was right for both wildlife and the many people who cherish this beautiful area.

It was also the correct decision as the UK is demonstrating that a modern economy can prosper without coal and the huge climate emissions it incurs.

Demand for coal is falling fast. In the first quarter of 2018, demand was 12 per cent lower than in the same period in 2017, despite the ‘Beast from the East’.

In 2012 there were 19 coal-fired power stations in the UK. There are just seven now, and there will probably only be two by the end of 2021.

Coal provided the energy to power the UK through the industrial revolution and beyond, and was mined by generations of miners, to whom we owe a great deal.

But science tells us that we need to move on and coal must be consigned to history.

The Government did the right thing in saying no to Banks’ plans for the hugely destructive new opencast mine at Druridge Bay.

It should now finish the job, say no to any further coal extraction and focus on developing an energy system for the 21st century based on energy saving and renewables.

Martin Swinbank,

Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth