At 6am on the 15th of December thirty campaigners from Coal Action Scotland together with local residents peacefully blockaded the entrance to the Scottish Coal-operated Ravenstruther coal rail terminal in South Lanarkshire.
Scotland’s CO2 emissions are increasing significantly. Because of the burning of coal it will be impossible for Scotland to meet its 80% target reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.
Angus Mcloud said
“The fact is that the government will not meet its own targets. This confirms what climate protestors have believed all along – that the Scottish government is paying lip service to the dangers of climate change.”
This action is being taken to impact the operations of Scottish Coal and Scottish Power in the region, stopping coal being delivered from five local open cast mines . The protestors are acting to oppose the five open cast coal mines that deliver coal to the rail terminal and in resistance to the thirteen new open cast coal mines due to open in Scotland.
Protestors erected and scaled a 15ft scaffolding tripod, blocking trucks from entering the terminal. Others are locked by their necks to a conveyor belt and a bulldozer, preventing coal stockpiles from being loaded onto trains.
Tilly Gifford who is at the site said:
“In the face of dangerous runaway climate change, increasing our dependence on coal – the most polluting of the fossil fuels – is simply unacceptable.We urgently need to make the transition to renewable energy and close existing mines.We shouldn’t even be thinking about new ones.”
Today’s direct action builds on recent demonstrations that have taken place all over the UK in opposition to new coal.
The demonstration today is in support of communities opposing new open cast mines. Rebecca Mackenzie, a local resident said:
“We’re here today to send a clear message that we don’t want parts of Scotland such as South Lanarkshire to become the most heavily mined areas in Europe, as they will be if permission is granted for all the new open cast coal mines currently being proposed. If sites such as Mainshill near Douglas can’t be stopped through legal avenues, then action will have to be taken to make sure these last remaining areas of un-mined countryside aren’t destroyed”.
Beth Whelan, the campaigner perched on the scaffolding tripod, said:
“Local authorities, the Scottish government and companies such as Scottish Coal and Scottish Power are ignoring the scientific evidence on climate change. We have to take responsibility for our climate and our future, and stop the coal industry and its expansion. This is what we doing today: acting responsibly”.
It is estimated that 6,380 tonnes of coal were stopped from being transported from the coal mines to power stations, equivalent to 11,675,400 kg CO2 (11,675.4 tonnes) released into the atmosphere. Coal Action Scotland apologizes to any workers affected by today’s demonstration, but in recognizing the desperate need to stop burning coal sees no other choice but to target the companies responsible for mining it .