The UK government’s export credit agency (UKEF) has agreed to provide about $1 billion to support a project which entails the development of offshore gas production facilities for extracting natural gas in north-eastern Mozambique. The Project is being developed and will be operated by TOTAL with various goods and services provided from a number of UK exporters. More information from UK government here.
Despite its pledge end to finance for overseas fossil fuel projects during COP26, the Johnson government will press ahead with funding the controversial gas field in Mozambique, “because that project is already in the pipeline and the initiative covers only new investments. ”
Friends of the Earth challenge
On 7 December Friends of the Earth (FoE) will challenge the UK government’s decision in the Royal Courts of Justice. Their challenge will claim 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
FoE has produced an MP Action Guide about how to support their efforts to stop this funding.
Security situation puts project on hold
The Guardian reported in April 2021 that “Mozambique’s poverty-stricken northern province has suffered increasingly violent attacks by Islamic State-affiliated insurgents since 2017, many targeting towns and communities near the $20bn (£15bn) gas project, which is backed by major international investors and companies.”
Due to the deteriorating security situation, Force Majeure was called by TOTAL in April 2021 and therefore an Independent Environmental and Social Consultant (IESC) monitoring is currently on hold.