UK faces legal action over Mozambique gas project

Friends of the Earth given permission to take the UK government to court over the Mozambique gas project. 

UK faces legal action over Mozambique gas project

The Judicial Review will examine the decision of UK Export Finance (UKEEF) approved by both the Secretary of State for International Trade and the Treasury, over its compliance with the Paris Agreement.

Under the decision around $1 billion of UK taxpayer money has been provided to help finance the project.

The construction phase alone will increase the greenhouse gas emissions of Mozambique by up to 10% by 2022.

There will be even larger emissions from the end-use/burning of the gas, estimated to be around 116MtCO2e per year: equivalent to the total emissions from the aviation sector for all EU member states combined.

The grounds of Friends of the Earth’s challenge are that:

  • The decision was made on the incorrect basis that the project was consistent with the UK and/or Mozambique’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
  • The defendants failed to consider essential issues or carry out the necessary analysis to properly determine if supporting the project aligned with the UK’s and Mozambique’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.

A full hearing is expected to take place later this year.

Will Rundle, head of legal at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘We’re delighted the High Court has given us permission to challenge the UK government’s reckless decision to provide huge financial support to a climate-wrecking gas project in Mozambique.

‘How can Boris Johnson expect the rest of the world to pull the plug on fossil fuels when his government is giving such enthusiastic support to a development that could have the same climate impact as the entire EU aviation sector.

‘The UK government should be supporting the building of a cleaner, safer future – not projects that will continue to fuel the climate emergency for many years to come.’


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