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Questions of climate justice

Should Mozambique prioritise industrialisation over protecting the environment?

Maputo, by Rohan Reddy / Unsplash

Good afternoon. Today's exclusive from Zitamar News, regarding the government’s decision to block an oil-fired floating power plant proposed for Maputo Bay, is likely to generate lots of discussion around questions of climate justice.

The latest from Zitamar News:

Floating power plant off Maputo blocked on environmental grounds
Mozambique’s government told a group of wealthy donor countries that going ahead with the project as proposed would be inconsistent with Mozambique’s climate commitments

The decision by the Ministry of Environment, which has not yet been announced publicly, apparently came in response to questions raised about the project by a group of western donor countries and multilaterals including the World Bank. The justification given is that the project would not be in line with Mozambique’s commitments to cut emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), principally CO2.

As is regularly pointed out, Mozambique is a tiny and insignificant emitter of CO2. It is the rich, industrialised nations who should be cutting their enormous emissions, the argument goes; countries at Mozambique’s stage of development should be allowed to increase energy production and industrialisation any way they can.

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