A PROTEST on climate issues including the proposed west Cumbria coal mine plan hit the streets of London this week.

Extinction Rebellion UK was out on the streets of London on Thursday and yesterday, protesting about the climate crisis.

At 7am yesterday they dumped black rubble, representing coal, on the street outside Lloyd’s of London’s headquarters, which protesters claimed facilitates the fossil fuel industry by insuring and investing in it.

The pile of “coal” blocked the entrance to the bank before activists placed signs including one that read: “Do not insure The West Cumbria Coal Mine”

Climate activists in London were seen damaging the windows of HSBC’s headquarters at Canary Wharf on Thursday.

Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland said: “The Radiation Free Lakeland and Keep Coal in the Hole campaign does not endorse damage to property such as smashing windows and we did not endorse the hunger strikes – our campaign is peaceful."

She went on: “It’s good that climate activists are opposing the coal mine but it was Radiation Free Lakeland and Keep Coal in the Hole that galvanised climate campaigners to see this coal mine as an issue and we really feel that the nuclear aspects of this coal mine are being buried under the climate impact.

“This is a coal mine that would be just a few miles from Sellafield.”

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said: "To create the necessary steel, some level of coke will also be required - it's up to us whether we are happy to continue to transport this vital ingredient thousands of miles on fossil fuelled ships and trains to UK blast furnaces.  

"I'm in favour of a UK steel industry - the alternative dependency on international imports for our manufacturing is neither a sound environmental or economic policy."

Supporter of the West Cumbria Mine Plan and Workington MP Mark Jenkinson said: “With respect to the coal mine they’re misguided.

“We use this coal and we’ll use this coal for the foreseeable – regardless of what any snake oil salesman tries to sell you there is no alternative to coking coal.

“The coal mine is a net positive for the UK given that we’ll use coking coal, so we’d [have to end] up shipping it in from across the world.”

Speaking of the damage to HSBC’s windows on Earth Day by Extinction Rebellion protestors, Mr Jenkinson said: “I was absolutely disgusted. I don’t know what makes these people think they have a right to damage other people’s property.

“It certainly doesn’t help their case at all, but if it was up to those people there’d be no progress at all.”

Attempts were made to reach West Cumbria Mining for a comment.