Morocco: On the right track towards the UN Climate Change Conference

Solar panels of the solar thermal power plant NOOR I / Photo: KfW-Bildarchiv

Through its International Climate Initiative (IKI), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB) is supporting the Moroccan Government in its preparations for the 22nd UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP 22) in November 2016. A meeting between German and Moroccan representatives during the Bonn Climate Change Conference from 16-26 May served to continue the excellent cooperation between both countries in the area of climate policy. Last April, a workshop was held in Rabat which was attended by the majority of the Moroccan steering committee responsible for organising the COP 22, along with high-ranking former climate policy negotiators such as the newly appointed UNFCCC General Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

IKI has been supporting Morocco since 2010 through a range of projects. This includes assistance in expanding renewable energies in the country by providing a subsidy to construct the world’s largest solar thermal energy park, Noor I, and a subsidised loan for the solar tower power plant Noor III in the Ouarzazate solar complex. The Noor I solar park, which came online last February, set a new global standard for advancing climate change mitigation and low-carbon electricity generation.

One focus area of this cooperation is the establishment of a climate competence centre, which aims to strengthen capacities in Morocco for implementing and developing its national climate strategy through knowledge and information management. The centre provides training courses to national climate experts, who will facilitate Morocco's active participation in the international dialogue on adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, staff from the responsible ministries and regional and local authorities, along with other partner countries on the continent (South-South cooperation), will receive training on climate change adaptation and mitigation, for example. The centre is providing direct advice on organising the global climate conference and will support Morocco in developing its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). It will also offer strategic support to the Moroccan COP Presidency. IKI is currently providing EUR 3 million in funding for this project, and an additional EUR 1.5 million in support have already been pledged.

In future, BMUB’s International Climate Initiative also plans to implement two projects in the area of biodiversity in Morocco. These projects will foster the integration of both the economic value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into political planning processes, sector policies and private-sector investment decisions. The project ‘Ecosystem services in Morocco: quantification, mainstreaming and private sector involvement’, which is being implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), will primarily involve cooperation with the Ministry for the Environment as well as with the High Commission for Waters, Forests and Combating Desertification and other ministries responsible for agriculture, water and deep-sea fishing. The regional project ‘Sustaining pollinator diversity to increase the resilience of ecosystems affected by climate change’, which is being implemented by the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), works at the intersection of science and policy, in particular through its cooperation with the Moroccan national institute for agricultural research (ONCA).