The UK government is suing Mozambique over its controversial gas project.
The massive development in Cabo Delgado has been dubbed the “Climate-Damage Gas Climate Project” by the Friends of the Earth environmental group, which will take the case to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The liquefied natural gas plant, operated by French giant Total, could emit up to 4.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases in its lifetime – more than the total annual emissions of the 27-nation European Union, according to Friends of Earth.
The company said more than 50 850 million in funding had been erroneously linked to the Paris climate agreement, and hoped the court would rule that the decision was illegal.
Natural gas in Mozambique’s Cabo Del Gado region has been a major source of conflict for the past decade. A.D. Since 2017, the region has been terrorized by militants and has carried out several attacks by the extremist Islamic State. More than 3,000 people were killed and 820,000 displaced.
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is prone to tropical storms, floods, and severe droughts. According to UNICEF, the country’s children are among the most vulnerable to climate change.
The legal challenge comes as 17 scientists and scholars have called on the government to end its support for the project.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, he argued that the money was not in line with climate change goals and that more than 95 percent of its gas was being exported and that “nothing could be done to improve energy supply in one of the world’s poorest countries.” .
“The United Kingdom must use its financial resources to truly support Mozambique and its people, as well as communities in sub-Saharan Africa,” the letter said.
Last year, the prime minister promised to end taxpayers’ support for foreign fossil fuels, but funding for a gas project in Mozambique has already been approved.
Friends of the Earth points out that the funding provided by the Government Export Credit Agency through UK Export Finance (UKF) has not been canceled in this new policy direction.
Will Randell, head of the Friends of the Earth, said: “The United Kingdom has invested heavily in the development of a new gas field in Mozambique.
“Surprisingly, the government is justified in saying that this step is in line with the Paris Agreement. But as we build on this, we have learned that this destructive project does not take into account important information that is inconsistent with global climate targets.
“The door is open on this waste investment,” said Rachel Kennerley, an international climate advocate for Friends of the Earth.
“The United Kingdom needs to know its historic contribution to the current crisis by helping all those in the forefront, such as Mozambique, to transition to renewable energy.
“By stopping support for all fuels, including gas, the government could be known for something other than climate hypocrisy.”
A government spokesman said he had not commented on ongoing legal proceedings.
But he added: “We are confident that UK Export Finance will follow a strong and internationally recognized commitment before providing any support to foreign projects.
A three-day judicial review will be held in the Supreme Court on December 7-9.