$5 billion in EXIM financing for Mozambique LNG plant fuels U.S. contribution to climate emergency
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s (EXIM) Board of Directors today voted to approve $5 billion in financing for a liquid natural gas project in Mozambique. The massive fossil fuel project, which EXIM admits will emit at least 5.2 million tons of C02 per year, is one of the first transactions to be approved after EXIM regained its full financing authority from Congress this May.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is set to build Africa’s largest single gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique. Despite about 80% of the country lacking access to electricity, the project is designed for the export of natural gas.
“By approving $5 billion in fossil fuel financing, EXIM is accelerating the climate crisis while causing local environmental damage and propelling human rights violations in Mozambique,” said Doug Norlen, Director of the Economic Policy Program at Friends of the Earth. “EXIM’s irresponsible approval of this project proves the agency can’t be trusted to manage billions of dollars in public funds. Either EXIM financing for fossil fuels must be stopped or the agency should not be reauthorized by Congress.”
In addition to climate damage, Anadarko’s Mozambique LNG project has already caused the loss of land and livelihood of local peoples, while failing to provide promised local jobs. In February, contractors working on the project were attacked by suspected militants, leaving at least one worker dead. Further, the project threatens the delicate Quirimbas Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO protected site.
“If there is a project with serious alarm bells, it’s this one,” said Daniel Ribeiro of JA!/Friends of the Earth Mozambique. “This dirty project is located in a sensitive world biosphere, embroiled in an emerging extremist armed conflict. It is being pushed by a government that has recently faced one of the biggest corruption cases in Africa. This project will only fuel the numerous local land conflicts, the human rights abuses and infrastructure bottlenecks. It makes one worry about Mozambique’s future. Investment from the U.S. will only amplify all of the troubles and conflicts in Mozambique caused by this project and push them out of control.”
Mozambique’s government has found itself in the midst of a corruption scandal that has ensnared three international banks funding development projects in the country, triggering investigations by the SEC and FBI. At least 20 people have been reportedly been indicted by Mozambique authorities.
The board’s approval of financing for Mozambique LNG plant comes as Congress returns to Washington to consider reauthorizing the agency. EXIM’s current authorization expires at the end of September.
The transaction will now be referred to Congress for 25 days of continuous session before a board vote on final approval can be made. Voting board members include Chairman Kimberly Reed, and board members Spencer Bachus and Judith Pryor.
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