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John Kerry examining likely impact of new UK coalmine

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John Kerry, the US climate official, has said he is closely examining the UK government’s approval of a new coalmine, over concerns that it will raise greenhouse gas emissions and send the wrong signal to developing countries.

Kerry, Joe Biden’s special envoy for climate, said he was taking a close interest in the mine, the first to get the go-ahead in the UK for 30 years, and that he would speak out publicly against the approval if it did not meet strict criteria.

“I’m asking my people to give me a better download on exactly what the emissions implications are going to be,” he said in an interview on Friday evening.

“Coal is not exactly the direction that the world is trying to move in, or needs to move in. What I want to know is the level of abatement here [such as whether the resulting greenhouse gases will be captured and stored] and the comparison of this particular process in the production of steel,” he said.

The Woodhouse colliery, near Whitehaven in Cumbria, will produce coking coal for use in steel-making once in operation. The government has said it will be…



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