THE war of words between Cumbrian MPs over the proposed coal mine near Whitehaven has continued.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said the plans must now be axed following the Government’s announcement that it will be speeding up its target to cut carbon emissions.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed the UK to slash emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels — 15 years earlier than planned.

Mr Farron said: “This is a very welcome announcement from Government and must surely signal the end for the Cumbria coal mine.

“If we are to achieve these much more ambitious carbon reduction targets, then there’s simply no way on earth that the public inquiry can approve this coal mine.

“It’s time for the Government to finally kill off this bonkers plan for a coal mine and instead focus on using Cumbria’s fantastic natural resources to create new green jobs.”

But long-time supporter of the mine and Workington MP Mark Jenkinson has maintained the coal mine should come to the area.

He said: “I think the comments show a fundamental lack of understanding on the sixth climate budget.

“Even South Lakes Action on Climate Change, their barrister’s submissions acknowledge the ongoing use of coking coal and acknowledge that the sixth climate budget expects the ongoing use of coking coal in significant quantities.

"We will reduce it as we move to electric arc furnaces.

“It is a very Nimby position to take that we should continue to import our coal from the likes of Australia.

“The argument now is 80 per cent of it will be imported to Europe — but it’s a Nimby argument that Germany should ship coal from Australia or the US.

“Climate change is a problem for all of us; if Germany reduces their emissions, we all benefit.”

 Copeland MP Trudy Harrison added: “The mine itself is not a cause of significant emissions, especially as West Cumbria Mines are putting in place a raft of environmentally sustainable working practices.
“It is the blast furnace process that needs to be addressed - possibly through carbon capture, which this Government is backing.
“Clearly the blast furnaces will emit carbon into the atmosphere whether the coke comes from the US or the UK, but the further the coke travels the higher those emissions will be.
“This argument is about our steel industry - I want an indigenous supply for the massive manufacturing need we have in the pipeline.”

The coal mine was initially approved by Cumbria County Council — but the council decided to recall the application earlier this year amid growing pressure from campaigners and international groups, who argued the UK should be moving away from coal.

The county now faces a judicial review to decide once and for all whether the mine will be built.