There are “very compelling reasons” not to open a controversial planned coalmine in Cumbria, the business and energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng , said on Wednesday. The statement is the clearest indication to date of opposition to the project within the government, which has been heavily criticised for allowing the mine as the UK prepares to host a vital UN climate change summit, Cop26. The communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, initially ruled that the mine did not conflict with national policy and was a local matter. But he reversed that decision on Thursday and ordered a public inquiry, citing rising controversy and new advice from the government’s official advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). “Initially, [Jenrick] said we wouldn’t go against the local planning decision, but he’s now looking at that again and I think there were very compelling reasons to do as the CCC suggested, and not open the mine,” Kwarteng told the BBC . “I’m always sympathetic to the CCC,” he said. “They’re a body that I speak to very regularly and our goals are largely aligned.” Tony Bosworth, at Friends of the Earth, said: “These comments are the strongest indication yet of real opposition at the heart […]

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