READERS have been reacting to claims that the UK could continue to lead on climate change even if the Whitehaven coal mine was built.

The work the UK has done to cut carbon emissions would offset the impact of Cumbria’s proposed coal mine, according to Copeland’s Mayor.

Mike Starkie believes the plans should not be refused due to Boris Johnson’s desire to be a leader on climate change.

He claimed the country is already leading the way in the battle against global warming.

Supporters of the mine say the coal it would produce is needed in the production of steel, which in turn is used to build green projects.

However, the need for coking coal in steel production has been disputed by campaigners against the mine.

Some people were critical of Mr Starkie’s views.

Posting on Facebook, Jessica Oliphant said: “Aye, we can still lead on climate change when our Prime Minister takes a private jet from London to Cornwall for a meeting on climate change...

“The UK government is clearly doing it’s bit to reduce emissions.”

Anthony Stevenson added: “Oh really! It’s all about money. People like this don’t give a damn about the environment.”

However, others were more sympathetic.

Lindsay Charters wrote: “China, India, US, Australia and Indonesia make up the five leading coal producing countries in the world. Think they should lead? I do!”

Paul Griesdale replied: “I quite agree. We contribute very little carbon emissions compared to the country’s you mention, until they curb their emissions we may as well pee into the wind. I suppose we are an easy target.”

The final decision on the future of the coal mine plan will be decided by a judicial review later this year.

Mr Starkie’s comments came as world leaders descended on Cornwall to discuss the future of the battle against climate change, in a meeting involving the Prime Minister.