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.
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 :
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 :
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 :
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.
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.