553 Million Climate Change Reasons for Supporting the 500m Buffer Zone Bill
New research published by the Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG) in support of Andrew Bridgen’s 500m Buffer Zone lends further weight to the potential benefits arising from the Bill if it becomes Law. Their latest Briefing Note on the issue, “Climate Change and the 500m Buffer Zone” provides an answer to the question of how much Carbon Dioxide will be prevented from escaping into the atmosphere if this legislation is passed?
The answer put forwards by MOPG is 553,750,000m metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. This is a figure derived from an analysis based on official figures.
Firstly official figures were used to find out how much CO2 is produced from burning one tonne of coal for power generating purposes - 2.215 metric tonnes.
Secondly official figures from the Coal Authority provided information about the estimated size of coal reserves amenable to opencast mine extraction in England – 516m tonnes.
Thirdly CoalPro, the Coal Operators trade body whose role is to promote the interests of Coal Operators in the UK, provided estimated figures on how much of this coal would be made inaccessible if the 500m Buffer Zone became Law. Their minimum figure was 250m tonnes.
Putting all this information together and doing the maths results in the figure of 553,750,000 metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide being prevented from polluting the air if this coal remains locked in the ground.
Steve Leary, the author of the Briefing Note said
“This latest note adds a further significant argument to those already put forwards by MOPG in support of our MP’s Private Members Bill. What would be put out of reach are at least 250,000m tonnes of coal which, if burnt using current technology, would result in over 550m metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide escaping into the atmosphere. Our research suggests that this a figure equal to seven years of Carbon Dioxide production that our power generators across the whole of the UK pump into the air every year.
Passing this legislation may have an even greater effect, since CoalPro’s estimate is that this proposed legislation would sterilise between 250,000 and 500,000m tonnes of coal reserves, so the benefits in terms of contributing to the prevention of Climate Change could have twice the impact.”
The Briefing Note, the fifth in a series on the 500m Buffer Zone Bill produced by the Minorca Opencast Protest Group, who are fighting a current application for an opencast mine near the village of Measham in Leicestershire and the rest of the series are free to download from the Measham Village web site at:
Andrew Bridgen’s Bill, the Planning (Opencast Mining Separations Zone) Bill, is due for its second reading on February 11th. UK Coal’s Minorca Surface Mine Application is now before Leicestershire County Council, but no date has yet been set for a decision on this Application.
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