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West Cumbria Mining: Fossil Fuels

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 69601, tabled on 4 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the Woodhouse Colliery fossil fuel development proposed by West Cumbria Mining on the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

Answered on

15 November 2021

Our Net Zero Strategy makes it clear that coal has no part to play in our future power generation which is why we’re phasing it out of our electricity generation by 2024 – a year earlier than planned. Coal’s share of our electricity supply has already declined significantly in recent years – from almost 40% in 2012 to less than 2% in 2020.

The public inquiry into the proposed Woodhouse Colliery fossil fuel development began on 7th September 2021. The formal part of the inquiry has now concluded. It is an independent process conducted by the Planning Inspectorate, so it would not be appropriate to comment further on this particular case. However, I am aware they heard evidence on a range of issues including around net zero ambitions.