Challenge the UK government’s support for a gas project in Mozambique
On 7 December Friends of the Earth is challenging the UK government’s decision to provide financial support for a liquified natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique. Specifically, we’re making a case against UK Export Finance (UKEF) on the grounds 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
As the Friends of the Earth legal team challenges UK government funding of the project inside the court, staff and groups will gather to challenge it outside. We’re doing this alongside Justiça Ambiental (Friends of the Earth Mozambique) and in support of their ongoing fight against the plans.
What is UKEF?
UKEF stands for UK Export Finance. It’s the UK’s export credit agency and a government body. Last July it pledged $1 billion of taxpayer money to support an LNG project in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.
The project would breach the UK’s climate commitments to keep within 1.5 degrees of warming, with the emissions from the use of the gas that’s extracted estimated to be equivalent to the total emissions from the aviation sector for all EU member states combined. Read more about the agency here .
What do Mozambicans think about this?
The LNG project has been embroiled in conflict and displacement since 2017. Hundreds of families have been displaced from their land and fishing grounds . These families have been moved miles inland away from the sea and without the farming lands promised to them so are now struggling to make a living without their traditional livelihoods.
There’s also evidence that energy companies have paid the government to deploy soldiers to protect their interests (the gas). Increased military presence has led to reports of human rights abuses by the army, such as killing local people and extorting and blackmailing families for the financial compensation they received from Total.
For a more in-depth look at the impacts on Mozambicans read Justiça Ambiental’s report Gas in Mozambique: A windfall for the industry, a curse for the country . You can also listen to a short interview with Justiça Ambiental’s Daniel Ribeiro on the project and its effect on local people, or read their director Anabela Lemos’ first-hand account.
Why is this important and what can you do?
Withdrawal of government support for this project would be a huge win for the climate justice movement. It’s also vital that we pressure our MPs to send a clear international signal against the abuse of human rights wherever they overlap with government interests.
We have a draft letter ready for you to send to your MP requesting that they write to Boris Johnson demanding that the Government reverses its decision.
It would be great if you can send the letter today, as the court hearing is early next week (7-9th December).
In addition, if you have time to arrange a visit to your MPs office over the next week to hand in the letter in person and to take some photos for social media that would be amazing. We can help with props for pictures if you would like- please let us know at email@example.com
Thank you for letting your MP know that you will not stand by while taxpayers money continues to fund fossil fuels and human rights abuses. Collectively we can stop this.
If you could let us know when you have contacted your MP that will help us to map our coverage across Greater Manchester.
Please remember to be conscientious while planning your action. The recent murder of David Amess MP is still a sensitive issue for both MPs and the public. Make sure your action is calm and doesn’t make anyone feel under threat. You might feel it’s a good idea to contact your MP in advance of the action too to let them know you’re coming and what you’ll be doing.
You can find contact details for your Member of Parliament by putting your postcode in the ‘Write to them‘ website.
If you would like to tweet to your MP you can find your MP’s twitter handle via Tweet Your MP
A couple of suggested tweet message:
- The UK is funding a gas mega-project in Mozambique.
This project has already destroyed people’s livelihoods and the health of the local environment, and is set to do even more damage to our climate. So, on Dec 7th @friends_earth will be challenging this in court. #StopFundingFossils
- The PM says he wants the world to move away from fossil fuels… yet the UK is funding a gas mega-project in Mozambique. This one project could emit more than the annual emissions of all 27 EU countries! Let’s tell the PM to #StopFundingFossils https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/petition/tell-prime-minister-mozambique-needs-green-investment-not-fossil-fuel-funding
See below for links to more details on the Mozambique project and link to a poster (png) your MP can print for use in a photo to share on social media.
Friends of the Earth International: Gas in Mozambique: A windfall for the industry, a curse for the country