Gas extraction worsened already dire situation in the North of Mozambique
Both ENDS is shocked by the dramatic news in the past days coming from Palma, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Our thoughts go to those who lost their lives or who are still missing, and their loved ones. Both ENDS is in close contact with our local partners to support them wherever we can. Many people are still missing, among whom members of farmers union UPC.
On the 24th of March, several hundred insurgents attacked the coastal town of Palma in northern Mozambique, located a few kilometers away from the onshore facilities of a US$20 billion gas project led by Total. The exact number of casualties remains unknown but dozens of people, including foreign nationals, are estimated to have been killed in the attack. For years, civil society organisations expressed their fears that the gas project would worsen the situation for local communities in an area that was already facing many difficulties, such as poverty and illegal trade. Since late 2017, the conflict in the area has increased with many insurgent attacks. The conflict has caused over 2,500 civilian deaths and contributed to the displacement of 668,000 as of the end of 2020, mostly women and children.
Local communities have so far not benefited from the gas project, to the contrary. Although the involved gas companies assured that the gas extraction would bring jobs and prosperity for the people in the region, unfortunately fisher folk and and farming communities are worse off than before the start of the project. Many have lost access
to fertile land and fishing grounds and have had to leave their homes. The compensation procedure is unclear and chaotic. When relocating people, the authorities have taken too little account of the social and geographic context, which resulted in fisher folk having been relocated inland where they can no longer fish. Also, conflicts emerged between local people and newcomers as local people had to make their already scarce land available to the newcomers.
Dutch support for the gas extraction
The Dutch government and Dutch companies are actively involved in the Mozambique LNG project. Dutch dredging company Van Oord recently moved its vessels to Palma to work on the offshore gas activities, but pulled back due to the latest attack. The export credit agency of the Dutch State, Atradius DSB, is currently deciding whether or not
to support the massive gas project with a loan guarantee of 660 million USD. It remains unclear why Atradius DSB has not yet provided the support while other export credit agencies from for example the UK, USA and Italy already have. Together with other Dutch NGOs, Both ENDS has filed a Freedom of Information request to get more clarity on the information used in the due diligence of Atradius DSB.
Dutch responsibility extends to the local people
Both ENDS has called on the Dutch government, Atradius DSB and Van Oord to do everything in their power to not only ensure the security of Dutch citizens in the area, but also that of local communities. After everyone is safe they need to think hard if they still want to be involved in this project. Both ENDS is in good contact with the Dutch actors and our local partners to ensure the safety and well being of everyone involved.
Dossier text about the gas development in Mozambique
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In 2011 one of the world’s largest gas reserves was found in the coastal province of Cabo Delgado, in the north of Mozambique. A total of 35 billion dollars has been invested to extract the gas. Dozens of multinationals and financiers are involved in these rapid developments. It is very difficult for the people living in Cabo Delgado to exert influence on the plans and activities, while they experience the negative consequences. With the arrival of these companies, they are losing their land.
News / 21 July 2020
At the end of last week, oil and gas company Total announced that, through its export credit insurer Atradius DSB, the Dutch government is participating in a funding package for a controversial gas extraction project in Mozambique. The project, in which various Dutch and foreign companies are involved, is having a deep impact on the local population and the natural environment in the area. Which Dutch companies the government will be insuring is not yet clear.
Press release / 19 May 2021
Amsterdam, 19 May 2021 – On 25 March, a day after violent attacks in northern Mozambique, the Dutch state decided to provide dredging company Van Oord with export credit insurance worth 900 million euros for its activities in the country. The company is conducting dredging operations for a highly controversial gas project that, according to Mozambican interest groups, is playing a prominent role in the escalating violence in the region. Civil society organisations Both ENDS, Milieudefensie and Oil Change International and their Mozambican partners are alarmed about the situation and have called the Dutch government and Dutch export credit agency Atradius DSB to account.
External link / 17 November 2021
Julio Bichehe Erneste of Farmers Union Cabo Delgado Mozambique (UPC) on a side event of COP26 in Glasgow, speaking about the negative impacts of export support for fossil fuel projects for local people and their enrironment, and about the need to support renewable energy projects instead.
News / 12 July 2021
At the beginning of this year, the Dutch government provided Dutch companies with export insurance worth 903 million euros to enable them to participate in a gigantic natural gas project in the north of Mozambique. Together with partners from Mozambique and the Netherlands, Both ENDS has been conducting a dialogue with export credit agency Atradius DSB and the responsible Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs on the possible financial, environmental and social risks of the gas project.
News / 22 November 2021
Export support – and especially that to fossil projects – has been in the spotlights quite often recently. This is a positive development, because the Netherlands alone provides fossil export support worth 1.5 billion euros per year. At the climate summit in Glasgow, the United Kingdom launched a statement promising to stop providing export support to fossil projects by the end of 2022. After having denied at first, the Netherlands decided to join the statement after all – which now has already been signed by nearly forty countries and financial institutions.
Letter / 4 May 2023
The Dutch government, through its export credit agency Atradius DSB (ADSB), provides export support to companies that undertake activities abroad. The state wants projects it insures to have no negative consequences for people and the environment and therefore sets requirements for corporate social responsibility (CSR). A consultation on CSR policy ran until the end of April, to which a coalition of thirteen social organisations from the Netherlands and abroad, including Both ENDS and Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth the Netherlands), responded.
News / 8 November 2021
Today, the Netherlands announced that it will join a leading group of countries, including the United States, Canada and Italy, which declared that they would stop international support for fossil energy projects. At the day of the launch of the declaration at the climate summit in Glasgow on the 4th of November, the Netherlands had no intention of joining, but because of pressure from civil society and political parties, the responsible ministries decided to sign after all. Both ENDS, together with organizations at home and abroad, has been pushing for this for years, and we are very happy with this step. We will of course continue to monitor developments.
Press release / 18 November 2019
The Netherlands provides export credit insurances and guarantees worth 1.5 billion euros annually to Dutch companies active in the oil and gas sector abroad. This support amounts to one and a half times the annual amount that the Cabinet of Prime Minister Rutte mobilises for climate initiatives worldwide. The intended effects of Dutch international climate policy are more than offset by this fossil export support. That is the conclusion of a new report from Both ENDS which is published today.
Publication / 17 November 2019
Publication / 18 June 2017
Publication / 11 November 2020
Publication / 17 February 2022
Event / 4 November 2021, 16:45 - 18:00
UNFCCC COP 26 side event ‘Aligning export finance with the Paris Agreement: high time to phase out fossil fuels’
Many countries heavily support fossil fuel investments abroad through their export credit agency (ECA). This contributes to carbon lock- in, whereby companies or even countries commit themselves to a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions for the lifetime of the infrastructure — oftentimes years or even decades. This seriously delays the transition to renewable energy sources, and is certainly not in line with Art. 2.1c of the Paris Agreement.
Highlighting the impacts caused by export finance in the global South, this side event will provide concrete recommendations to decarbonize export credit agencies.
News / 15 October 2021
The Dutch export credit agency Atradius DSB is not aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement; on behalf of the Dutch State, it continues to strongly support investments in fossil fuels. This is the conclusion of a report by German research agency Perspectives Climate Research (PCR), in which the export credit agencies of the Netherlands and Japan are measured in terms of their climate ambitions and alignment with the Paris Agreement.
Event / 27 October 2023, 20:00
In 2021, the Dutch government provided a €1.000.000.000,- worth export credit support to Totals Mozgas project in Cabo Delgado, despite civil society warnings about human rights and environmental risks. The gas exploitation fueled a violent conflict, culminating in the Palma attack, displacing 800,000 people and killing 1,200 people.
News / 15 April 2021
On Wednesday, April 14, seven countries, including the Netherlands, launched an initiative called Export Finance for Future (E3F), in which they set a number of ambitions with regard to phasing out export support for the fossil sector. Many NGOs worldwide, including Both ENDS in the Netherlands, have been calling for such an initiative in recent years and we are therefore pleased with this step. However, to achieve results and contribute to the Paris climate goals, countries will have to commit to much more ambitious goals than those now set. Concerned civil society organizations, including Both ENDS, therefore prepared a statement detailing the weaknesses they felt in the policy proposed by E3F, supplemented with recommendations for improvements.
News / 20 February 2023
Today, a letter, undersigned by almost 60 organisations from countries that face the consequences of fossil fuel projects or stand in solidarity, has been sent to the Dutch Members of Parliament. This Thursday, a debate about the export credit facility and the policies around it, will take place in the Dutch Parliament. The coalition calls upon Dutch politicians and policy makers to stand up against any form of export support for fossil fuel projects that are to be executed by Dutch companies abroad, expecially in the global South.
Publication / 15 March 2023
Letter / 28 February 2023
This joint position launched by 175 civil society organisations from 45 countries calls on world leaders to end OECD export finance for oil and gas, and explains how it can be done.