Coal Company Operating on Matt Ridley's Land is Sponsoring This Year's Newcastle 'Green Business Award'

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A coal mining company with open-cast operations on climate denier Matt Ridley’s land has just been announced as the sponsor for the ‘Green Business of the Year’ award at this year’s Newcastle Business Awards to be held later this month.

This comes at the same time as the UK announces a complete phase out of all coal-fired power stations within the next 10 years. Britain’s “polluting, carbon-intensive” coal-fired power stations are “not the future” said Energy and Climate Secretary Amber Rudd today.

Banks Group will sponsor the award for companies who “have either applied environmental policies into the workplace resulting in reducing their carbon footprint or that supply a product that makes a positive contribution to the environment”.

While the company does own Banks Renewables it also operates an open-cast mining subsidiary, Banks Mining, which has operations in the Newcastle area.  

Most notably, Banks Mining is responsible for operations at climate ‘lukewarmist’ Ridley’s Shotton Mine in Northumberland. Just last month, the mine was shut down for a day as protesters called for an end to coal – the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.

Green groups have written to the award organisers demanding that Banks Mining be removed as a sponsor citing coal’s “detrimental” impact on the environment.

Signatories, including Friends of the Earth, Save Druridge Bay, and The Loose Anti Opencast Network, write: “This choice of sponsor for the Green Business Award is both surprising and profoundly a wrong choice and we would urge you to drop them as sponsors.” 

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Kyla is a freelance writer and editor with work appearing in the New York Times, National Geographic, HuffPost, Mother Jones, and Outside. She is also a member of the Society for Environmental Journalists.

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