Unite invites you to Seminar on Coal in the 21st Century

Unite invites you to Seminar on Coal in the 21st Century

02 February 2015

WHEN: Tuesday 3 February 2015 – 3pm - 5pm
WHERE: Committee Room 12, Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0AA.

The conference brings together MPs, coal producers, CCS developers and others with an interest in the future of the UK coal sector to debate the critical position of coal as an indigenous fuel with huge reserves.

It will focus on the role of carbon capture and storage, plus the potential for jobs and a secure energy future.

The need for coal is at a tipping point, we need to focus political attention on the future of this resource. We wish to build a broad alliance of trade unions, generators and producers for this purpose.

The event will be chaired by Ian Lavery MP (member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and chair of the All Party Group for Clean Coal), with a range of speakers including Tom Greatrex MP, Philip Garner director general of Coal Pro, Luke Warren CEO Carbon Capture & Storage Association, Peter Emery production director Drax Group.

Trades Unions will be represented by Kevin Coyne of Unite, Chris Kitchen (NUM general secretary) and Philip Pearson (TUC senior policy advisor). Representatives of major energy companies will also be present.

Kevin Coyne Unite national coordinating officer said:

“This is a major conference, to be held in the House of Commons where the attendance indicates a massive interest from MPs in the future use of coal as an important energy resource, but also a major hedge in international insecurity.

“In addition, the conference will indicate that we have the technology to ensure that coal is carbon neutral, which will mitigate against the closure of coal fired power stations in the future and secure a base load of 30 per cent which is going to be critical to keep the lights on in Britain.”

Looking ahead to the event Philip Garner Coal Pro’s director general said:

“The role of coal in the UK energy mix and its value to the UK economy is almost completely ignored in the political debates on both the Electricity Market and the UK economy. This seminar will hopefully enlighten the audience and make them question whether losing our coal production capacity and trying to eliminate coal-fired power plants prematurely will prove to be costly in the longer term for the UK.”

Peter Emery chairman of Capture Power and production director at Drax said:

“We are pleased with the interest shown in CCS. The White Rose CCS Project has potential to demonstrate coal fired oxy-fuel combustion CCS technology and to kick start the development of a CCS hub which would be a game changer for economic growth in the Yorkshire and Humber region and the UK.”

Luke Warren CEO of Carbon Capture and Storage Association said:

“CCS on coal is now a reality – last year marked the official unveiling of the first-of-a-kind commercial scale coal-fired CCS power plant in Canada. The development of commercial CCS promises to secure a sustainable, long term future for coal in the UK energy mix.”

Approximately 30 MPs have confirmed their attendance. Please confirm your attendance with Sonia O’Neill at Unite on 0203 371 2005 or Sonia.O'


For further information contact Douglas Beattie or Ashraf Choudhury in the Unite Press Office on 020 3371 2060 or 07980 224761.

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.