Report: Court finds UK’s $1.15 bln funding for Mozambique LNG project lawful

A London court has ruled that the UK government’s funding of up to $1.15 billion of financing for the Mozambique LNG project led by French energy major TotalEnergies is lawful.

Archive; Courtesy of TotalEnergies

According to reports by Reuters, the decision by London’s Court of Appeal was made on Friday, 13 January, dismissing an appeal by the environmental group Friends of the Earth.

On 6 December 2022, Friends of the Earth asked the Court of Appeal to examine the government’s decision to fund the Mozambique LNG project through its export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF),  after its judicial review ended up in a legal deadlock in December 2021, when two High Court judges disagreed on the verdict.

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The group argued that financing for the project was permitted after it was incorrectly judged to be compatible with the Paris Agreement and its goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The total emissions for the new gas field, which research by the environmental group finds would total some 4.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) over its lifetime – more than the combined annual emissions of all 27 EU countries, were not calculated as part of the government’s approval process or evaluated against global climate goals, the environmentalists warned.

At the time of filing the legal challenge, Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith, who represented Friends of the Earth, noted that the Court of Appeal’s answer is likely to be a “defining moment in climate change litigation”.

Click here to read more about TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG project.