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Tussle Over New UK Mine Embodies Fight Over Coal-Related Emissions

Nonprofit group says investment in £165 million coal project exposes fund investors to climate-related financial risk.

A pedestrian walks across the proposed site of a new coal mine in Whitehaven, U.K.

A pedestrian walks across the proposed site of a new coal mine in Whitehaven, U.K.

Photographer: Anthony Devlin/Bloomberg

The UK is weighing whether to approve its first deep coal mine in three decades, a controversial £165 million ($199 million) project now facing opposition from an environmental law nonprofit group that says it exposes investors “unreasonably and unnecessarily” to financial risk.

Campaigners and policymakers for years have opposed the proposal to build the mine in the Cumbrian region of northwest England on the grounds that it would increase greenhouse gas emissions. That pressure intensified Tuesday when ClientEarth, a London-based nonprofit, warned the mine’s financial backer EMR Capital Advisors Pty. Ltd. that support for the project may breach its fiduciary duties.