from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE African Energy Chamber (AEC) has condemned environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth, for a legal challenge against the proposed US$1,5 billion investment in Mozambique’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.
Friends of the Earth has mounted a challenge to the British government over the financing of the project initiated by TotalEnergies.
AEC lamented the impact of this on Mozambique and region, including neighbouring countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe that are going through electricity crises.
The project is believed to have the potential to lift millions out of poverty and drive sustainable socio-economic growth for decades.
The United Kingdom has pledged $1,15 billion in direct loans and guarantees towards the $20 billion LNG project, “an eye-watering amount of taxpayer money right in the middle of a climate emergency,” as stated by Will Rundle.
AEC said it did not negate the significant impacts posed by climate change but gas represents both the cleanest fossil fuel and one of the most available.
The chamber expressed alarm that at a time when the west had its chance to develop, on the back of African oil and gas, the same nations were calling for Africa to surrender its own development “in the name of climate change.”
“Mozambique is simply doing what every other western nation has done for years, capitalizing on its own natural resources for the good of its people and its economic development,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
He said disrupting projects such as the Mozambique LNG plant is unfair and unjust.
Ayuk said African stakeholders should be allowed to make their own decisions regarding natural resource exploitation and addressing climate change.
“Therefore, the AEC will continue to support Mozambique, its energy progress, and its people,” he assured.
AEC believes projects such as Mozambique’s LNG development represent a turning point for Africa.
The organisation reiterated natural gas emits the least amount of carbon dioxide into the air when burned, and thus, represents a cleaner source of fuel for many nations globally.
“This lawsuit does not solve any climate problems. The lawsuit, from a western organization, goes against Africa’s efforts to solve energy poverty and in all actuality, does not help solve any climate change challenges,” Ayuk said.
– CAJ News