[Image of the nearby Blaenavon ironworks World Heritage Site, CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/locosteve/]
Yesterday’s announcement that an application for an opencast coal pit in Torfaen is being withdrawn was greeted with delight by campaigners. Friends of the Earth Cymru, which has fought the Varteg application for several years, believes that this heralds the end of the opencast mining industry in Wales.
Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, Gareth Clubb, said:
“International climate agreements, as well as raw common sense, are seeing country after country turn their back on coal - the most damaging of all fuels to the climate. That has caused a massive global oversupply, which means that coal simply can’t be mined profitably in Wales. And there’s zero prospect of that prognosis changing.
“So, just as we predicted back in April, we’re now seeing the beginning of the wholesale collapse of the opencast industry in Wales. We look forward to similar announcements being made in relation to the Nant Llesg and Tower opencast applications
“It’s just reward for the hundreds of campaigners, local and national, who’ve spent time and effort in opposing these flawed opencast plans. Now is the time to focus on the real alternatives to our energy needs - massive investment in energy efficiency and renewables which can regenerate the valleys communities while safeguarding the environment”.