Morocco is a benchmark in the region in terms of renewable energy and sustainability. Recently, the specialised magazine MIT Technology Review recognised the Kingdom as the leading country in renewable energies in the entire MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Rabat is also building five new solar centres in various parts of the country. One of these is in partnership with a British company.
In this regard, the new government led by Aziz Akhannouch has begun to promote measures that demonstrate the Kingdom's commitment to the environment and climate change. All this, in the line initiated by King Mohammed VI in favour of sustainable development, a commitment he demonstrated during the COP22 in Marrakech in 2016.
At a meeting organised by the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, in collaboration with the General Confederation of Moroccan Employers (CGEM) and the UK Embassy in Morocco, the new Executive has already begun to lay the foundations for the country's energetic transition.
Nouzha Alaoui, secretary general of the Foundation, stressed that this meeting comes at a time when "the world is experiencing a sharp rise in energy costs, especially for fossil fuels". The price of oil has exceeded 85 dollars per barrel for the first time in seven years. Moreover, several countries are already experiencing an energy crisis due to gas and coal shortages.
"Thanks to the far-sighted vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the decarbonisation of the industrial tool represents a major advantage that allows Moroccan industry to gain in competitiveness and to cooperate with the most integrated industrial bases in the world," said Ryad Mezzour, Moroccan Minister of Industry and Trade.
Decarbonisation will allow Moroccan industry to access international markets, especially European markets, due to the application of carbon taxes. It will also "allow us to substantially develop our market shares in countries that, with the pandemic, have decided to relocate to nearby and reliable countries for new sources of supply," Mezzour explained.
On the other hand, Leila Benali, Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, pointed out that these measures aimed at reducing the country's carbon footprint will bring opportunities to the country during the recovery from the pandemic. Benali also announced that Morocco will be present at COP26, the United Nations conference on climate change to be held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November.
Rabat will send a large delegation with representatives from the public and private sectors, researchers and non-governmental organisations. According to Benali, the aim is to "consolidate the Kingdom's leadership, promote the new Moroccan model in terms of energy and ecological transition, continue to promote Moroccan initiatives undertaken since COP22 and attract new foreign investment".
The Moroccan minister has extensive experience in the field of sustainable development. She was director of strategy, energy economics and sustainability at the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP). Benali has also participated in several energy courses at universities and has been a member of energy associations.
Simon Martin, British Ambassador in Rabat, emphasised the climate actions developed by the Moroccan government and society. He stressed the urgency and benefits of joining the global effort to create a low-carbon world.