‘BURNING planet masks’ were worn as climate campaigners marched through Stratford in response to a controversial gas project in Mozambique.
Stratford Friends of the Earth (SFOE) handed in a letter to MP Nadhim Zahawi’s office asking him to help stop the UK’s £850million funding of a gas plant they claim could emit up to 4.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases over its lifetime.
The group argues it is at odds with the Paris Agreement – a pledge taken by world leaders to keep global temperatures below two degrees celsius.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who said he was committed to curbing the climate crisis at the recent COP 26 talks in Glasgow – revealed the Government was pledging some £850million to support the project.
The environmental campaign charity has estimated emissions from burning the gas produced could add between 3.3 and 4.5billion tonnes of CO2 – the same as the annual emissions of all 27 EU countries.
The discovery of natural gas has also caused conflict in the world’s poorest country, resulting in the thousands of deaths and displacement of civilians.
A judicial review of the government’s funding of the project – brought by the charity – is being heard in the High Court in London this week.
SFOE campaigner Janet Palmer said: “Nadhim Zahawi recently pointed out that we need to ‘set our minds on net zero’ and that ‘this is a journey we have to go on together, from Stratford to the USA, from Coventry to Cape Town’.
“Why then, is the UK government supporting a gas mega-project in Mozambique which would lead to billions of tonnes of carbon emissions?
“Climate change is a global problem that needs global solutions, and we can’t ignore the consequences of UK actions elsewhere in the world.
“Friends of the Earth is asking the courts to rule that the government’s decision to fund the project was unlawful because it is not in line with the targets set down in the Paris Agreement.
“However, the government can withdraw funding from the project at any time.”
Contact Janet on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the campaign and the group.