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UK government continues to fund major gas project in Mozambique

The Prime Minister has announced that the UK will stop funding oil and gas projects abroad, however, according to Friends of the Earth, this pledge ignores a major gas project in Mozambique.

In the last four years, the government has supported £21bn of UK oil and gas exports through trade promotion and export finance.

In an announcement made earlier this week, Boris Johnson has pledged to end taxpayer support for fossil fuel projects overseas as soon as possible.

This new policy will see the UK end export finance, aid trading and trade promotion for new crude oil, natural gas or coal projects.

However, funding for a major gas project in Mozambique will continue.

The offshore deepwater gas production facility is being developed by Total,  where it aims to extract 43 million tonnes of gas per year, up to four billion cubic feet of gas a day.

Represented by Leigh Day solicitors, Friends of the Earth has previously issued a claim for judicial review of the decision to invest in this project and is currently seeking a declaration that in doing so the government acted unlawfully.

Friends of the Earth have argued that the government has breached its own policy by agreeing to fund the project in breach of international standards on the environment and human rights, as well as by failing to disclose its assessment of the impacts of the project. It is also argued that such an investment failed to properly consider the Paris Agreement.

Friends of the Earth climate campaigner, Rachel Kennerley, said: ‘It is great that the PM has recognised we can’t continue to fund climate-wrecking oil and gas overseas. Ending investment in all overseas fossil fuel projects will help us meet our climate commitments, but there can be no exceptions.

‘Under the new rules announced today, a climate-wrecking gas mega-project in Mozambique that has displaced thousands of people would be in doubt, yet the decision to spend $1billion on this project was decided just a few months ago.

‘We think that the decision to fund this project was illegal, so Friends of the Earth is challenging the government’s decision in the courts. This is because we think the government is in breach of international standards on the environment and human rights and has failed to properly consider climate change.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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