Environmentalists continue to challenge UKEF funding for gas in Mozambique

(Mediarun Search, London?, 13 February 2023) In January, an appeals court rejected the request, but Friends of the Earth wants the arguments to be heard again by the Supreme Court (Portugal’s equivalent of the Constitutional Court). “The funding decision was made without taking into account the impressive emissions from flaring the gas, and without considering how these emissions align with globally agreed climate targets,” they said in a statement. Before passing a judgment, the Supreme Court will first assess the appeal and determine whether it has merit and whether an issue of greater constitutional importance is at stake. British export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF) has committed US$1,150 million (€1,077 million) in funding in 2020 to develop an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Rovuma Basin in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique. But Friends of the Earth say the environmental impact has not been properly assessed, contrary to the UK’s commitment to comply with the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to limit global warming. The organization estimates that over the years of operation, the project will generate up to 4,500 million tons of greenhouse gases. The project in question, promoted by a consortium led by French oil major Total Energies in the Rovuma basin, was suspended in 2021 after attacks by armed groups in Cabo Delgado province. Worth between 20,000 and 25,000 million euros, the gas extraction megaproject is one of the largest private investments planned for Africa and is supported by several international financial institutions.