A legal challenge by Friends of the Earth against the British government will be heard on Tuesday in the High Court seeking to block a $1.15 billion financing for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Mozambique, the environmental activist group said on Tuesday.
Britain’s export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF) has committed to providing up to $1.15 billion of direct loans and guarantees to banks to support the design, build, and operation of the $20 billion LNG project led by French energy company TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA).
Friends of the Earth said in a statement the project was incorrectly judged to be compatible with the Paris climate agreement, without proper assessment of the development’s climate impacts.
It also said that the project contradicts the UK’s obligation to help other countries meet their own climate targets and that the government should instead invest in renewable energy and other sustainable projects.
“The UK has poured an eye-watering amount of taxpayer money into developing a huge new gas field in Mozambique right in the middle of a climate emergency,” said Will Rundle, head of legal at Friends of the Earth.
A UK government spokesperson said: “We remain confident that UK Export Finance follows robust and internationally recognized due diligence before providing any support for overseas projects.”
“We do not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”
The gas project is seen by some as critical to transforming the economy and development of Mozambique, one of the world’s least developed nations, but environmental campaigners say LNG projects, while cleaner than other fossil fuels, still lock-in harmful emissions for decades.
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