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Climate Change in Morocco

contribution of the Kingdom of Morocco to fight against climate change

Morocco’s National Circumstances

Located on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, at the gates of Europe and northern Africa, Morocco has always been a crossroads of civilizations. In recent decades, Morocco has experienced substantial economic and social development within the context of climate change that has an impact on all sectors. Consequently, the pressure on natural resources has increased, affecting the resilience of forest ecosystems and the agriculture sector, particularly because of water scarcity. Water availability per capita was over three times higher in 1960 (approximately 2,600 m3 per capita per year) than it is today (approximately 700 m3 per capita per year).

Aware of this situation, Morocco has voluntarily and resolutely engaged in a process to combat global warming, progressively outlining its own vision while complying with decisions taken collectively at the international level.

Morocco’s Vision on Climate Change

"Make its territory and civilization more resilient against the climate change while ensuring a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy"

Contribution of Morocco in terms of mitigation

To achieve Morocco's contribution, a broad consultation process with stakeholders has been initiated. This process made it possible to review the policies and programs implemented by Morocco to fight against global warming and to define the level of ambition that Morocco wishes to adopt within the framework of its INDC as well in the field of mitigation than adaptation.

Mitigation Targets

Unconditional Target

A 17 % reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to a BAU scenario, with 4 % coming from AFOLU actions. Without AFOLU actions, the reduction target is 13 %.

Conditional Target

An additional reduction of 25 % achievable under certain conditions, which would bring the total GHG reduction to 42 % below BAU emission levels by 2030, including AFOLU actions. Without AFOLU actions, the additional reduction would be 21 %, which would bring the conditional reduction target to 34 %.

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Expected Trajectory

For reference and planning purposes only, Figure 1 presents Morocco’s forecasts of the emissions pathways associated with the targets presented.

Financial Needs and Conditions 

Meeting the overall target of 42 % requires an investment estimated at USD 50 billion between 2010 and 2030. Meeting the conditional component of the target, for which costs are estimated to reach USD 24 billion, is conditional upon access to new sources of finance and to additional support, compared to that received over the past year.

Assumptions and Methodological Approaches

Type of Targets 

Emission reductions from projected emissions for the year 2030, according to a BAU scenario

Gases Covered

Carbon dioxide  (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)  Fluorinated gases are not covered; they are rarely used in Morocco and their emissions are marginal

BAU Scenario

GHG emission projections for 2030, starting in 2010, which is the first year of implementation of the National Plan for the Fight against Global Warming. Projections do not take into account the mitigation measures and actions implemented from 2010.



Covered Sectors

Electricity production l Housing (residential and tertiary) l Agriculture l Industry l Transportation l Waste l Forestry

Global Warming

The GWP values used are those determined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), according to Decision 17/CP.8 of the UNFCCC, for the preparation of national emissions inventories:

GWP CO2 = 1 (by convention) l  GWP CH4 = 21 l GWP N2O = 310

Mitigation Scenarios

GHG emission projections for 2030, starting in 2010. The unconditional mitigation scenario is based on the implementation of 24 actions, including 9 AFOLU actions. The conditional scenario assumes the implementation of 31 additional actions over the period 2010– 2030, including 11  AFOLU actions. A 2030 GHG emissions pathway taking into account the elimination of public fossil fuels subsidies has been carried out to consider potential additional GHG reductions coming from these reforms.

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Morocco's vision facing the risks of climate change impacts

Morocco implements a sectoral approach, adapted to the circumstances and specific features of the territorial entities : mountain regions, the coast, oases, agricultural areas and urban areas. Morocco’s ultimate objectives in addressing climate change, which must also resonate with the international community, are :


The protection of populations, through a risk-prevention management approach, linked to the exodus of rural populations and its socioeconomic consequences, particularly in the most vulnerable areas (coastal zones, mountainous areas, regions with a high propensity for desertification, and oases). This approach relies on an observation-and-research system to better understand current and future climate risks.

The protection of natural heritage, biodiversity, forestry and fishery resources, through an ecosystem-based adaptation approach. Morocco commits to restoring ecosystems and strengthening their resilience, to combat soil erosion and prevent flooding.

"Préserver son territoire et sa civilisation de la manière la plus appropriée, en réagissant efficacement aux vulnérabilités de son territoire et en anticipant une politique d’adaptation qui prépare l’ensemble de sa population et de ses acteurs économiques à faire face à ces vulnérabilités."

The protection of climate-sensitive production systems, such as agriculture and tourism, as well as high-risk infrastructure. Because water resources are the most constraining factor to sustainable economic and social development in Morocco, the kingdom has recently developed its National Water Strategy (NWS) and its National Water Plan (NWP) with the aim to improve integrated and appropriate water resource management, the development of unconventional water resources, preservation methods, the protection against pollution, training, scientific research and awareness around these themes.

The protection of the cultural heritage of the kingdom through education and awareness actions, and efforts to preserve ancestral good practices in highly vulnerable sectors, such as water and agriculture.

Targets to build resilience

Morocco's vision for adaptation is divided into several sectoral objectives quantified for the horizons 2020 and 2030, presented in table 3. Although Morocco is already investing massively in adaptation, the achievement of these objectives will only be possible with significant support from the international community and donors.

Main adaptation objectives

Close Up of Corn Field


For 2020


Switching from current irrigation systems to localized irrigation systems over an area of 550,000 hectares, for USD 3.7 billion; 

Developing the public-private partnerships to delegate irrigation services, including: 


  • Irrigating 15,000 hectares by desalinating water from the Chtouka Ait Baha plain for USD 300 million; 

  • Irrigating the coastal Azemmour-Bir Jdid area, over 3,200 hectares for USD 37 million; 

Hydro-agricultural infrastructure around dams over 160,000 hectares, for a global cost of USD 2.1 billion; 

Coverage of risk against climatic variations through multi-risk insurance for cereals and legumes covering 1 million hectares. 

For 2030 

Extension of irrigation to new agricultural areas, over 260,000 hectares for an overall investment of USD 3 billion; 

Equipping and modernizing irrigation systems over 290,000 hectares for an overall forecasted USD 2 billion.



For 2020

Substitution of water samples from overexploited groundwater tables (85 million m3 annually) with above-ground water sources; 

Artificial replenishment of groundwater tables by up to 180 million m3/year;

Connection to the water treatment network in urban areas at a rate of 75 % by 2016, and 80 % by 2020; 

Wastewater treatment at a rate of 50 % by 2016 and 60 % by 2020; 

Restructuring the full-service distribution sector at the regional level to reach a rate of 60% for individual connection by 2020. 

For 2030 

The construction of three dams per year on average in order to reach 25 billion m3 in stocking capacity, which will require overall investments forecasted at USD 2.7 billion;

Desalinization of seawater in order to reach a capacity of 500 million m3 per year for a forecasted cost of USD 15 billion; 

Recycling of wastewater in order to reach a capacity of 325 billion m3 per year for a forecasted cost of USD 3 billion; 

Transferring 800 million m3 of water per year from north to south for an overall investment of USD 3 billion; 

Improving the efficiency of the drinking water network with a national average target of 80 %; 

Connection to the water treatment network in urban areas at a rate of 100 %

Various programs and actions aimed at preserving water resources and natural habitats, and at improving the management of extreme climate events, for an overall investment of USD 5.7 billion; 

Aerial Photo of a Forest


For 2020

The replenishment of 200,000 hectares of forests. 

For 2030

Protecting 1,500,000 hectares against erosion, which will include the prioritization of 22 basins, for USD 260 million; 

Afforesting 600,000 hectares for USD 46 million.

Fishing Net

Fisheries and Aquaculture

For 2020

Reach a 95 % rate of traded species managed sustainably;


Reduction of discharges by 90 % compared to current levels; 

Establishment of a coastal observation network, equipped with four oceanographic and meteorological buoys, and expansion of the environmental and sanitary surveillance and warning system along the coastline to 40 observation zones;

Reduction by 50 % of the quantity of fish meal created from fresh fish.

For 2030

Establishment of marine protected areas representing 10 % of the Exclusive Economic Zone; 

Development of two hatcheries dedicated to restock five endangered coastal species; 

Renewal and modernization of 30 % of the fleets, including with greener vessels equipped with observation systems; 

Restoring 50 % of damaged marine habitats; 

Increasing by 50 % the volume of sea products utilized and marketed.

Morocco’s Adaptation Finance Needs

Adaptation needs will have significant budgetary implications for Morocco, for all sectors of the economy, and for the protection of human and animal health. Over the period 2005–2010, Morocco devoted 64 % of all climate related spending in the country to adaptation, particularly in the water sector, which represents 9 % of overall investment expenditures. More specifically, investments planned to achieve the desired targets in the water, agricultural and forestry sectors are estimated at USD 2.5 billion. Securing the national roadway system against additional climate change-induced floods would cost 5 % more than traditional maintenance costs.

This considerable share of the national expenditures budget dedicated to adaptation demonstrates the magnitude of the challenges facing Moroccan society. This share is certain to rise over time. Morocco expects to dedicate at least 15 % of its overall investment budgets to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Between 2020 and 2030, Morocco estimates that the cost of implementation of adaptation projects for the water, forestry and agriculture sectors, the sectors most vulnerable to climate change, will at a minimum reach USD 35 billion.

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