The court deemed the project legal after environmental organization The Friends of the Earth petitioned the court to sanction the project for violating environmental regulations.
However, the court ruled that the project was compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change and allowed it to go ahead. The Environment Agency’s administration was described as “extremely disappointing”.
Rachel Kennerley, one of the Earth’s climate campaigners, said, “This extremely disappointing ruling does not change our firm belief that the UK Government should not support the Mozambique gas project or any fossil fuel project at home or abroad.”
The utter debacle comes as UK Export Finance (UKEF) has pledged to provide direct loans and guarantees to banks to support the design, construction and operation of the $20 billion project.
After the court ruling a UKEF spokesman said the company would take environmental best practice into account before funding any project.
“We are confident that UK Export Finance will undertake robust and internationally recognized due diligence before providing any support to overseas projects.” said the spokesman.
A spokesman for TotalEnergies also agreed with the ruling, saying the project provides a huge economic opportunity for the people of Mozambique, while reiterating that TotalEnergies is a company that considers its carbon footprint and is dedicated to its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. .
“Provides a number of social and economic benefits to Mozambique and is an important part of Mozambique’s aim to diversify its economy,” said the spokesman.
“Total Energies 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, Total Energies was in the same legal boat when it was also taken to court for violating the 2015 Paris Agreement in an oil deal with Uganda, a case that appears to be still ongoing.