The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their opposition to the expansion of Aberpergwm Coal Mine in Neath Port Talbot Council. Addressing a protest in front of the Senedd Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds stated that if we are to stand any hope of tackling climate change before it’s too late, the coal must be left in the ground.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS and Cardiff Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader Rhys Taylor
The protest in front of the Senedd in Cardiff saw multiple Welsh climate groups attend.
The expansion of Aberpergwm Coal Mine has been at the centre of a row between the UK and Welsh Governments, with the Welsh Government claiming it does not have the legal authority to block the mine’s expansion, while the UK Coal Authority has insisted that the Welsh Government could in fact stop the development.
The new license, which was approved by the Coal Authority in January will allow Aberpergwm Mine to extract another forty million tonnes of coal. The development could release up to 1.17 million tonnes of very strong greenhouse gases, including methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:
“It is absolutely ludicrous that in the middle of a climate emergency we are considering expanding coal mining in Wales. The Welsh Liberal Democrats are absolutely clear, coal should be left in the ground. 2050 is no longer in the distant future.
“While our opponents will try and paint us as being against job creation this is absolutely not the case. We believe the people of Glynneath deserve high-skilled future-proof jobs, not ones in a declining industry that will last only a decade at most.
“With plans to move steelworks in the UK to Green Hydrogen by the mid-2030s, we are calling on the Welsh and UK Governments to locate some of its Green Hydrogen projects in Glynneath, bringing long term employment to the community and ensuring no one is left without a job as industries begin to change.
“While the Welsh Government’s powers over this affair remain unclear, one thing for certain is the UK Government could veto the development if it wished to do so. Just months after claiming a big win at COP26 on the issue of coal mining, Boris Johnson needs to put his money where his mouth is or risk undermining both the UKs climate goals and its global leadership on the Green agenda.”