Five Ways Morocco is a Climate Change Champion

Morocco's Ochre City Hosts 22nd Conference of Parties on Climate Change November 7-18

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - November 07, 2016) - Today, the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) opened in Marrakesh, Morocco -- a "perfect place for the world's biggest climate change conference," according to Quartz.

Indeed Morocco's decades-long commitment to clean and sustainable energy is widely recognized, most recently by the 2016 Climate Change Performance Index, which ranked Morocco alongside Denmark, Sweden, and Belgium in the top ten most climatically conscious countries and number one in the developing world, based on criteria including CO2 emissions, renewable energy development, efficiency, and climate policy.

To mark the start of this historic conference, which Morocco has dubbed "the COP of action" and which King Mohammed VI has vowed to make "a conference for Africa," here are the five ways Morocco is a climate change champion:

  1. Morocco has enshrined environmentalism in its governing documents. Article 31 of the country's 2011 Constitution guarantees citizens' right to "the access of water and to a healthy environment"; while Articles 71 and 152 address the government's responsibility for environmental protection and oversight.
  2. Morocco has set ambitious energy goals. Morocco has committed to generating 42% of the country's energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, and 52% by 2030.
  3. And is meeting them with even more ambitious renewable energy projects. The country's NOOR 1 solar power project, inaugurated this year, is the largest in the world -- so large it is visible from space; and Morocco plans to develop five more by 2020, capable of producing 2,000 megawatts of energy. In addition, Morocco currently maintains 13 wind farms and plans to build at least six more before 2020, capable of producing a total of 2,000 megawatts of energy.
  4. Morocco is serious about waste reduction. The Moroccan Parliament signed a bill into law on July 1, 2016 banning the use, production, or import of plastic bags; and Rabat hosts an active recycling and waste-management center that employs disadvantaged people to sort through waste for reusable, recyclable and saleable material.
  5. Morocco understands the importance of raising public awareness on climate change issues. That's why Morocco's Association of Teachers of Life and Earth Sciences works with the Ministry of Education to promote environmental awareness at centers in 18 different towns and cities throughout Morocco.

"Morocco has made clear -- not just in words but in deeds -- for decades that it takes the issue of sustainable energy seriously," said former US Ambassador Edward Gabriel. "As the COP 21 signatories look to implement the policies put into place last year in Paris, the have much to learn from this year's host country."

For more on Morocco's environmental initiatives, take a look at our fact sheet.

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

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Jordana Merran