The International Monetary Fund (IFM) has recently published a comprehensive report that delves into the intricate relationship between climate change and Morocco’s developmental prospects. The report highlights that Morocco faces a dual reality, with climate change posing significant threats and offering potential opportunities.
Water scarcity and development
According to the report, Morocco grapples with severe water scarcity, ranking among the world’s most water-stressed nations. This scarcity acts as an obstacle to the country’s aspiration to transition to a new model of sustainable development. To address this challenge, the report recommends increased investments in water infrastructure. However, the report emphasizes that these investments should be complemented by demand management reforms aimed at aligning the price of water with its actual cost, ultimately encouraging a shift in consumption behavior.
Opportunities and challenges
Despite these challenges, the report underscores that Morocco has the potential to leverage its abundant renewable energy resources for sustainable development. Fully exploiting these resources would not only mitigate the country’s reliance on imported fuels but also position Morocco as a leader in green energy in neighboring markets. To realize this potential and decarbonize its energy matrix, significant investments in renewable energy are required, with a substantial portion of these investments expected to be shouldered by the private sector.
Moroccan’s national water plan 2020–2050
The report revealed that the Moroccan government has devised an extensive and ambitious National Water Plan spanning from 2020 to 2050 to tackle the country’s water-related challenges. This strategic plan outlines a range of measures, including investments in the construction of new dams, interconnections between different water basins, desalination facilities and wastewater treatment plants. By 2030, Morocco aims to triple its desalination capacity by introducing nine new plants in addition to the existing 11 and seven already in progress.
Moreover, the plan encompasses initiatives to curtail water losses during transportation and distribution processes, as well as a continued drive to enhance water efficiency in the agricultural sector through the ongoing modernization of irrigation systems. The comprehensive execution of this plan is anticipated to necessitate a substantial investment of approximately $40 billion over the period of 2020 to 2050.
Moroccan’s green energy potential
Morocco is strategically positioned to capitalize on the global push for decarbonization, primarily due to its abundant renewable energy (RE) resources. The country boasts one of the world’s highest solar insolation rates, enjoying approximately 3000 hours of sunshine annually. In addition, wind resources are plentiful, with over 90% of Morocco’s territory experiencing an average wind speed of 5.3 meters per second.
The Moroccan government has set ambitious targets, aiming to achieve a 52% share of renewables in its installed capacity by 2030, a significant increase from the current level of about 35%. The full realization of Morocco’s extensive RE potential promises several economic advantages:
First, transitioning to a decarbonized energy mix would reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels, thereby enhancing economic resilience against external shocks. Furthermore, the development of RE resources has the potential to transform Morocco into a net energy exporter.
Second, reducing the carbon intensity of industrial exports would provide Morocco with a notable competitive edge in markets that are actively embracing green energy transitions.
Lastly, the energy transition holds the promise of substantial job creation, contributing positively to the country’s labor market and overall economic growth.
In response to these pressing challenges and opportunities, the Moroccan authorities have requested support from the IFM through the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF). This arrangement aims to enhance climate resilience, prepare for natural disasters and stimulate financing for sustainable development.
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