A statement from the interim committee of the Northern Independence Party on the proposed Woodhouse Colliery.
No new coal
In November 2021 the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. We’re told that:
“The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.”
If the UK government were serious about its commitment to climate action it would seek to engage with communities and workers to explore alternatives to the opening of a new deep coal mine in Whitehaven, Cumbria. In addition to the obvious problem with mining more fossil fuels, concerns have been raised by local campaign groups about the mine’s proximity to Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant, with the proposed mining of coal seams extending to within 5 miles of the plant.
Of course, as with so many issues, the UK government has no real interest in the needs of communities and workers in the North.
500 climate jobs
While the focus of those in favour of the mine is on jobs, studies show the scope for unionised, green jobs in this area exceeds the prospective jobs offered by this mine. The Northern Independence Party seeks a Green Industrial Rebirth of the North as part of our commitment to tackling global warming. This would utilise the innovation and hard work that are pillars of northern culture, as demonstrated by the proud history of mining, to create sustainable jobs and investment, that will protect future generations.
We will support the creation of jobs and opportunities for the people of the North through a just transition for those working in high carbon industries. The policies to make these jobs a reality, to ensure a just transition for workers in high carbon industries, must come from dialogue and engagement with communities and workers affected by these issues.
Our commitment to addressing climate change and the injustices of a global economic system which passes the worst effects of this crisis to our communities means the Northern Independence Party would prioritise those hardest hit through a Just Transition Fund. This would transform these dialogues into localised transition plans: real jobs and real opportunities that don’t cost the earth.
The Northern Independence Party believes that the plan for the Woodhouse Colliery must be scrapped. While we welcome the County Councils’ recent decision to reconsider the planning application for the mine we believe that it is only through genuine, democratic engagement with the issues that affect us most that we can transform our communities and workplaces.
We need real investment in the future of green industry in the North, not unsustainable, false ‘solutions’ imposed by Westminster.
The interim Northern Independence Party Committee
Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole:
A coal mine, trust and a just transition in Cumbra - New Economics Foundation: https://neweconomics.org/2020/10/a-coal-mine-trust-and-just-transition-in-cumbria
Trust In Transition - New Economics Foundation: https://neweconomics.org/uploads/files/NEF_trust-in-transition.pdf
Community fight against coal in Cumbria - Friends of the Earth: