DEMAND AN END TO NEW OPENCAST COAL MINES NOW!

We the undersigned call on the Scottish Government to put in place a moratorium on any further planning consents for opencast coal mines in Scotland, on grounds that:
• there is enough coal in already consented mines to last more than 40 years; we do not need any more
• the UK government plans to phase out all coal-fired power stations by 2025 – so the main demand for coal will reduce to zero by that time
• there are dozens of abandoned unrestored opencast sites across Scotland; consenting more mines will mean more unrestored sites
• the remaining coal in the ground is part of the ‘carbon bubble’ – it is not economical to extract at current prices, and cannot be burned without breaching agreed targets to reduce carbon emissions
• communities that have been impacted by opencast mining for decades need help to restore their environment and make the transition away from fossil fuels.

We further call on the planning authorities in East Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, South Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Fife and Falkirk, and on opencast mine developers, to withdraw all current applications for opencast mines in Scotland.

Background
The following opencast sites in Scotland have existing planning consents or ‘minded to consent’ decisions by planning authorities:
Site Planning authority Consented/remaining tonnage
Duncanziemere East Ayrshire 400,000
House of Water East Ayrshire 1,568,000
Greenburn (Carsgailoch Hill) East Ayrshire 4,000,000
Glenmuckloch Dumfries & Galloway 345,000
Rigg North Dumfries & Galloway 945,000
Broken Cross (North) (East Extension) South Lanarkshire 1,000,000
Glentaggart East South Lanarkshire 3,430,000
Cauldhall Moor Midlothian 10,000,000
St Ninian’s Loch Fitty Extension Fife 3,400,000
Wellsgreen Fife 800,000
Rusha West Lothian 1,000,000
Wester Greenhill Falkirk 214,000
Total 27.1 million tonnes

In the period June to December 2015, opencast coal sites in Scotland produced 326,936 tonnes of coal. If the demand for Scottish coal continues at that rate, there is enough coal in consented mines to last for 41 years. But since the demand for coal is continuing to drop, it would last significantly longer than that.

We the undersigned call on the Scottish Government to put in place a moratorium on any further planning consents for opencast coal mines in Scotland, on grounds that:
• there is enough coal in already consented mines to last more than 40 years; we do not need any more
• the UK government plans to phase out all coal-fired power stations by 2025 – so the main demand for coal will reduce to zero by that time
• there are dozens of abandoned unrestored opencast sites across Scotland; consenting more mines will mean more unrestored sites
• the remaining coal in the ground is part of the ‘carbon bubble’ – it is not economical to extract at current prices, and cannot be burned without breaching agreed targets to reduce carbon emissions
• communities that have been impacted by opencast mining for decades need help to restore their environment and make the transition away from fossil fuels.

We further call on the planning authorities in East Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, South Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Fife and Falkirk, and on opencast mine developers, to withdraw all current applications for opencast mines in Scotland.

Background
The following opencast sites in Scotland have existing planning consents or ‘minded to consent’ decisions by planning authorities:
Site Planning authority Consented/remaining tonnage
Duncanziemere East Ayrshire 400,000
House of Water East Ayrshire 1,568,000
Greenburn (Carsgailoch Hill) East Ayrshire 4,000,000
Glenmuckloch Dumfries & Galloway 345,000
Rigg North Dumfries & Galloway 945,000
Broken Cross (North) (East Extension) South Lanarkshire 1,000,000
Glentaggart East South Lanarkshire 3,430,000
Cauldhall Moor Midlothian 10,000,000
St Ninian’s Loch Fitty Extension Fife 3,400,000
Wellsgreen Fife 800,000
Rusha West Lothian 1,000,000
Wester Greenhill Falkirk 214,000
Total 27.1 million tonnes

In the period June to December 2015, opencast coal sites in Scotland produced 326,936 tonnes of coal. If the demand for Scottish coal continues at that rate, there is enough coal in consented mines to last for 41 years. But since the demand for coal is continuing to drop, it would last significantly longer than that.

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