Is it the end of coal in Scotland?

STV News

Coal mining is to be effectively banned in Scotland under new rules governing the creation of future extraction points. Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said Holyrood will take a position of “no support” should any plans for the country’s first mine in 20 years be brought forward. Speaking at the party’s Autumn conference, Slater said the “era of coal [was] over,” adding it was time to “draw a line” under the industry and look for greener alternatives.

There are no active coal mines in Scotland and the last coal power station closed in 2016, but the Coal Authority has granted a conditional licence for mining in a geographic area which covers Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway.

Any move to create a new mine would require planning permission, but Slater said that would not be supported by the Scottish Government.

At its peak, over 700,000 people were employed by the coal industry in the UK – around 80,000 of whom worked in Scotland. The last active deep Scottish mine, in Longannet, Fife, closed in March 2002.  The last  operating deep coal mine in the United Kingdom, Kellingley colliery in North Yorkshire, closed in December 2015.

Environmental campaigners have welcomed the ban.

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