Legal challenge over UK funding of Mozambique gas project goes to appeal court

(Drill or Drop, London, 6 December 2022) Government approval of $1.5bn financing for a liquified natural gas project in Mozambique has been challenged at the Court of Appeal this morning (Tuesday 5 December 2022). A year ago, a case brought by Friends of the Earth ended in deadlock, when two High Court judges disagreed on the verdict. The challenge was dismissed so that it could be heard again in the appeal court. Friends of the Earth will argue at the new hearing that the financing, through the government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), was unlawful. It was permitted, the environmental organisation will say, after the project was incorrectly judged to be compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Friends of the Earth has estimated that the facility would emit 4.5bn tonnes of greenhouse gases over its lifetime – more than the combined annual emissions of the 27 EU countries. The government has until March 2023 to revise its net zero strategy after losing a challenge by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and the Good Law Project. The high court ruled that the government should outline exactly how the net zero policies will achieve emissions targets. A decision is due early in 2023.