Court of Appeal hears claim that UK Government $1billion finance for Mozambique gas project is unlawful
The Government’s decision to finance a fossil fuel project in Mozambique with $1billion will be challenged at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday 6 December.
Posted on 06 December 2022
Friends of the Earth says the decision by UK Export Finance (UKEF) to provide the finance package – one of the biggest ever offered to a foreign fossil fuel project by the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs – was unlawful, including due to the failure of UKEF to calculate the emissions that will be produced from the end-use of the liquid natural gas (LNG).
- The Defendants failed in their duty of sufficient inquiry by (i) not quantifying the indirect downstream greenhouse gas emissions from the processing and use of the LNG generated by the Project and/or (ii) only carrying out a high-level, qualitative review of those emissions.
- The Defendants were required to adopt a view of the Paris Agreement that was more than merely “tenable”.
- There was no rational basis on which the Defendants could conclude that the decision to provide funding was compatible with Article 2(1)(c) of the Paris Agreement.
Friends of the Earth’s head of legal, Will Rundle, said:
“UKEF not only helped finance the project but it failed to measure all the emissions it would produce – misleading ministers about the scale of its impact. This is a complete failure of credible governance and morally unacceptable in a climate crisis.
“Climate assessments for fossil fuel projects must measure all the emissions, period. We need to understand the climate impacts of spending taxpayers' money, so we can decline carbon intensive investments like this and fund renewable energy projects instead.”
Friends of the Earth will appeal as judges divided over lawfulness of UK Government investment in Mozambique gas project
Two judges opened the way to an appeal when they were unable to agree on whether the UK Government’s decision to invest $1.15bn in a gas project in Northern Mozambique is unlawful.