Home > Climate Change in Morocco:

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 to climate change while ensuring a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy.

This political will is today embodied by the kingdom’s 2011 Constitution, which gave it a new impetus by enshrining sustainable development as a right for all citizens, and by instituting new instruments of democratic governance, a condition to achieving sustainable development across the country. This political will is further enshrined in the Framework Law on the National Charter for Environment and Sustainable Development (NCESD), which asserts “the rights and duties inherent to the environment and sustainable development accorded to natural and legal persons and proclaims these principles to be respected by the state, local authorities and public institutions and businesses.” The operationalization of the charter was undertaken through the preparation of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD), which will guide the actions of all public institutions and private actors in furthering social and economic development that is both sustainable and dynamic.

Morocco’s NDC finds its institutional roots in the NSSD and outlines a vision of Morocco in 2030. As a result, the implementation of Morocco’s NDC is part of an integrated approach that goes beyond climate change, to include :

  • Respect for human rights and gender equality, as enshrined in Morocco’s 2011Constitution.
  • Synergies with the two other Rio conventions, which aim to restore, respect and maintain biological diversity and the integrated management of water resources and sustainable land management in order to combat desertification and land degradation.
  • Alignment of actions related to climate change with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goals 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 17.
  • Implementation of the advanced regionalization project in Morocco, building on integrated and participatory strategic land planning. This project will substantially contribute to implementing Morocco’s NDC through a national vision for land planning that promotes regional potentials and resources along with solidarity between regions.


In terms of mitigation, Morocco has set a national greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target of 42 % below BAU emissions by 2030, which can only be reached under the condition of benefitting from substantial support from the international community. Morocco also commits to an unconditional reduction target of 17 % below BAU levels by 2030, taking into account reductions in Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU).
These GHG emission reduction targets will be achieved by measures taken in all sectors of the economy. Coordination of mitigation targets stemming from all sectoral strategies and all action plans will fall under the auspices of a low-carbon development strategy, which is currently being drafted. Numerous sectors will be targeted by these plans and strategies, namely energy, agriculture, transportation, water, waste, forestry, industry, housing and infrastructure.

Morocco’s GHG mitigation goals rely in large part on an important transformation of the country’s energy sector. This transformation is driven by great political will. It aims to reduce the country’s heavy reliance on foreign energy sources and increase the share of renewable energy, while responding to growing demand for energy to ensure the socioeconomic development and well-being of its citizens. The primary goals that underlie this energy transition are the following :

  • Reaching over 52 % of installed electricity production capacity from renewable sources by 2030.
  • Reducing energy consumption by 15 % by 2030.
  • Substantially reducing public fossil fuel subsidies, building on reforms already undertaken in recent years.
  • Substantially increasing the use of natural gas, through infrastructure projects allowing liquefied natural gas imports.

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.
  • 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.

Objectives to Build Resilience

Morocco’s vision for adaptation involves several quantified sectorial goals for 2020 and 2030, presented in Table 3. Even though Morocco already invests heavily in adaptation, reaching these targets will only be possible with significant support from the international community and creditors.

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. And 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 in 15 years.