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Friends of the Earth granted permission to challenge UK government over Mozambique offshore gas project

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Following a hearing on 21st April 2021, Thornton J., granted Friends of the Earth permission to challenge the UK’s decision to provide $1.15bn in financing for Total’s development of a 12bn barrel-oil equivalent LNG Project in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique. The UK Export Financing and the Treasury had agreed to the funding on the basis of their assessment that it was compatible with the UK and Mozambique’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.

The Judicial Review will examine whether UKEF carried out an assessment capable of reaching a conclusion in that regard, specifically whether UKEF acted lawfully in not quantifying the emissions that will be produced from the LNG produced. A key legal question will be whether Developed country Parties to the Paris Agreement can lawfully finance fossil fuel projects such as these or whether such financing is inconsistent with their obligation to ensure a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and the Paris temperature goals.

Jessica Simor QC,Kate Cook and Anita Davies represented Friends of the Earth, instructed by Rowan Smith of Leigh Day.

Useful link(s)

Friends of the Earth’s press release

Leigh Day’s press release