Government faces legal action over funding of Mozambique gas project

Friends of the Earth have issued legal action on the government’s decision to invest $1bn to a major gas project off the coast of Mozambique. 

The offshore deepwater gas production facility is being developed by Total, where they aim to extract 43 million tonnes of gas each year.

Gas will be extracted from 20 wells 50km from the coast of Northern Mozambique and will then transported via a 40km pipelines to an onshore natural gas facility.

Represented by Leigh Day solicitors, Friends of the Earth has issued a claim in the high court for judicial review and is seeking a declaration that the government has acted unlawfully.

The environmental campaign group has argued that by agreeing to fund this project the government has breached its own policy of international standards on the environment and human rights.

Mozambique is already suffering the impact of climate change, and it is calculated that the construction phase alone will increase the greenhouse gas emission of Mozambique by up to 10% by 2022.

As well as failing to disclose its assessment of the impacts of the projects, it is also argued that such an investment fails to properly consider the Paris Agreement.

Will Rundle, of Friends of the Earth, said: ‘The climate hypocrisy of this government is astounding.

‘On the one hand, it claims to be a climate leader and on the other, we are providing $1 billion in tax-payer financial support to new gas mega-project that will sabotage all our efforts to stop climate breakdown.

‘Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world and its people are already struggling to cope with climate impacts. A vast new gas project is incompatible with the Paris Agreement and would hugely increase Mozambique’s carbon emissions – speeding up climate and ecological breakdown.

#In his speech at the COP26 launch, the Prime Minister described 2020 as “a defining year of action for our country, and indeed for our planet, on tackling climate change but also on protecting the natural world”.

‘If we are going to achieve that, the UK cannot continue to fund oil and gas projects abroad.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay


Pippa Neill


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