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The legal threat to the UK-Mozambique $20 billion deal has been annulled


The court found this project lawful after the environmental organization, The Friends of the Earth appealed to the court to sanction the project for breach of environmental regulations.

However, the court decided that the project was compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change, and gave the go ahead to continue. A ruling the environmental organization described as “extremely disappointing.”

Rachel Kennerley, one of the Friends of the Earth climate campaigners stated, “this extremely disappointing judgment doesn’t alter our firm belief that the UK government should not be supporting the Mozambique gas project, or any fossil fuel project at home or abroad.”

This entire debacle stems from the fact that the UK Export Finance (UKEF) has pledged to provide direct loans and guarantees to banks to support the design, build and operation of the $20 billion project.

A UKEF spokesperson stated after the court’s ruling that the company would always take environmental best practice into consideration before funding any project.

“We remain confident that UK Export Finance follows robust and internationally recognised due diligence before providing any support for overseas projects,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for TotalEnergies also agreed with the ruling, noting that the project presents a huge economic opportunity for the people of Mozambique, while also reiterating that TotalEnergies is also a company that considers its carbon footprint and is dedicated to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“TotalEnergies supports the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the context of sustainable development and the fight against poverty,” the spokesperson added.

Last year, TotalEnergies was in the same legal boat, as they too were taken to court for breaching the 2015 Paris Agreement in their oil deal with Uganda, a case that seems to still be ongoing.

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