The planet is on fire in this month of July and for good reason, global warming a global phenomenon which, to varying degrees, spares no country around the world, never stops doing its thing. Morocco, a little more than others, is not immune to this phenomenon with increasingly disastrous and unpredictable consequences.
Indeed, the Kingdom is geographically located in a region where climate change has worrying repercussions, in particular due to the increase in temperatures, the decrease in precipitation and the variations in precipitation patterns.
Morocco is indeed experiencing increases in average temperatures, with increasingly hot summers. This has implications for agriculture, water and human health. Climate change poses a serious threat to Morocco’s economic growth and human development. However, with the right investments and policies, a more sustainable future is possible.
That said, parts of Morocco have already seen a decrease in rainfall, which has led to water shortages and droughts. This directly affects agriculture, which is an essential component of the Moroccan economy. It is therefore safe to say that the country is facing an increase in water demand due to population growth and economic development.
In addition, there is another phenomenon, sneaky this one, which threatens the country’s water “quietness”, the rise in sea level. With global warming, it is inexorable that coastal cities, such as Casablanca, Morocco’s economic lung, will suffer from coastal erosion, flooding and salinization of freshwater reserves. In addition, global warming may disrupt Morocco’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems, putting biodiversity at risk. Corals, mangroves and endemic species are particularly vulnerable.
The Moroccan government has taken steps to address these challenges, including investing in renewable energy, implementing adaptation policies, promoting more sustainable agriculture, and raising public awareness of climate change issues. International efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change are essential to limit the consequences for Morocco and other countries.
A report (Nov. 2022) on climate and development by the World Bank (WB) confirms the Kingdom’s desire to be part of this perspective. Over the past 15 years, says the WB’s diagnostic tool, which identifies these priority actions to build resilience and lower carbon emissions while supporting economic growth and reducing poverty, Morocco has taken decisive steps to combat climate change.
This tool applied to Morocco identifies three priority areas: combating water shortages and droughts; build resilience to floods; and decarbonize the economy. The report also examines cross-cutting issues of financing, governance and equity.
Thus, at the end of the 2000s, it launched two emblematic programs in particular to meet climate challenges at the sectoral level: the Green Morocco Plan (PMV) to support climate-smart agriculture and the Moroccan Solar Plan (since transformed into a National Energy Strategy) to deploy renewable energies.
In 2017, it adopted the National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2030, and two years later, it launched the National Climate Plan 2030 (PCN 2030), organized around five main pillars: establishing strengthened climate governance; building resilience to climate risks; accelerating the transition to a Low Carbon Economy; include the territories in the climate dynamics and strengthen human, technological and financial capacities.
The main message of the WB report is that if Morocco invests now in the fight against climate change and takes the appropriate political measures, the benefits will be immense. Ambitious climate actions will help revitalize rural areas, create new jobs and position the Kingdom as a green industrial platform, while helping it achieve its development goals.
The report identifies pathways to decarbonize the economy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and massively deploy solar and wind power. According to the report, Morocco would need to invest a total of around $78 billion (in present value terms) to decisively build a resilient, low-carbon economy by 2050. The good news is that these investments could be made gradually. And if the right policies are put in place, the private sector could bear a large part of the costs, the World Bank continues.