"Hundreds of the world's leading climate scientists expect global temperatures to rise to at least 2.5ºC above preindustrial levels this century", compared to the agreed target of 1.5ºC, a Guardian (8 May) survey revealed.https://bit.ly/3WCkhj0 This is also what the gas companies are assuming. When gas contracts were agreed a decade ago, there was a tacit assumption that it would be impossible to sell gas after 2050 because of the need to meet 1.5ºC. But no one in the industry believes that now.

ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies and other gas companies expect to sell for a decade longer. Thus Patrick Pouyanne, Total Energies Chair told investors a year ago (29 April 2023) "we are not in a hurry" to return to Mozambique. The gas can always be sold. There is a key gamble for Patrick Pouyanne and for Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon. They are betting their companies on the belief that the climate emergency will continue. But across the world, the temperature rise to 1.5ºC above preindustrial levels has already happened. Flood, fires, and famines are already here. In a decade, having wasted money on Cabo Delgado, will Exxon and Total be forced to pull the plug on Cabo Delgado?

Personally, both Pouyanne and Woods are 60 years old and have salaries of $8mn and $36mn per year, respectively. They will probably die before the climate disaster hits, or at least be able to use their millions to not be hurt. But their children and grand-children?

Ultimately, it is Mozambicans who will carry the real cost. The floods and cyclones in Matola, Maputo, Beira, and Quelimane are just tasters of what is coming down the road. The floods in Kenya and drought in Zimbabwe are at 1.5ºC - the agreed number. And in five years at 2ºC? And when the gas is still being sold and global heating is devastating Mozambique?

Even if the gas billions are used well, they are not enough to transform Mozambique into a country that can survive unprecedented floods, cyclones, and droughts - a complete transformation to housing, travel, farming. And money spent on dams will be no use when there is no rain
Frelimo leaders dream of billions of dollars. But the contracts give all the power to the gas companies - for example to charge inflated prices for the initial costs and security. And now companies are being move off shore to UAE and Mauritius, where Mozambique has no control. The billions in gas profits are a fantasy - but the climate emergency is real.

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