A PEACEFUL protest involving about 50 people has been held outside the offices of Cumbria County Council prior to a major meeting.

Climate protestors from Extinction Rebellion Cumbria gathered outside the building on Busher Walk in Kendal on Thursday.

Those involved in the demonstration voiced their opposition on proposals to create a new coal mine in the west of the county at Whitehaven.

Cumbria County Council recently approved the development of the coal mine, which the Government has now rubber-stamped, and voted last September against declaring a climate emergency.

The climate crisis group say the proposed coal mine will emit 8.4 million tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to the emissions of more than one million households.

Extraction projected to continue for 50 years – 20 years beyond the date by which the government has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions (2050).

Kendal resident, Professor Rebecca Willis, one of four Expert Leads appointed to the UK’s Climate Assembly, said: “The proposed mine is clearly incompatible with the UK’s climate ambitions and the need for a clean energy future.

"Cumbria has championed its commitment to climate action.

"It now needs to accept that digging more coal out of the ground is no longer acceptable”.

Maggie Mason, previously a minerals and waste planner at the county council said: “Cumbria’s politicians understandably want to see new jobs on the west coast.

"But we estimate that the profits from the mine would leave the local area with only 3 per cent of the turnover spent on salaries.

"We urgently need an active, low carbon industrial strategy for Cumbria and other local areas, to generate thousands of green jobs rather than hundreds of coal jobs."

Several of the protesters also dressed as canaries to draw the analogy between the climate crisis and the canaries down the coal mine.