By Sara HADDOU AMAR, PhD
As part of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, and Morocco’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint by 2030, the Moroccan government is seeking to increase the percentage of hybrid or electric cars in the country.
The plan is to gradually change its car arsenal by 30% in 2021, replacing old cars with new eco-cars or hybrid cars in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Morocco is also willing to encourage purchasing eco-cars by reducing taxes. This strategy will also generate a significant reduction in fuel consumption by about 15%.
This project is part of a global strategy of optimization called, in Arabic, “مثالية الدولة”. The strategy is to encourage the use of renewable energies and energy efficient technologies in order to reduce energy consumption in kilowatt-hours by an average of 5% by 2019, 10% by 2020 and 20% by 2021.
The strategy also includes various objectives concerning a multitude of ecological areas such as:
- Water: Rationing the use of water resources and reducing excessive water consumption by implementing, for example, drip irrigation for green areas. This plan is set to reduce water consumption in cubic meters by 10% next year and by 20% the following year.
- Waste management: Implementation of a waste sorting procedure at the source and improving value assessment at the administrative buildings regarding waste management by 30% by 2019, with the goal of reaching 90% by 2021. The aim is to implement a process to manage and sort waste at the administrative buildings in order to reduce the processing effort at the waste dump.
- The energy efficiency of buildings: The use of renewable energies and energy efficient technology in state-owned buildings, and promoting a sustainable system of public transactions through the institutionalization of social and environmental responsibility standards.
According to a governmental source, the Moroccan strategy is based on efforts made to create a gradual transition to a comprehensive green economy by the year 2030. The strategy aims to eradicate poverty through 7 challenges, 31 strategic axes, and 137 goals.
A short-term study, with the support of the UNDP*, will be launched for analysis and comparison. UNDP will also aid in the preparation of a detailed and comprehensive draft of an action plan for Morocco’s new environmental strategy.
The new challenges facing Morocco
Morocco is one of the leaders in the world in solar energy implementation. The new strategy that Morocco is pursuing is changing the consumption of fuel based energy. According to an article by Ecomena blog entitled “Solar Energy in Morocco“:
“Renewable energy is an attractive proposition as Morocco has almost complete dependence on imported energy carriers. Morocco is already spending over USD 3 billion a year on fuel and electricity imports and is experiencing power demand growth of 6.5 percent a year”.
However, various challenges are facing Morocco’s strategy to reach their environmental objectives. Solar energy implementation is limited to big governmental plans and projects, but their consideration as a support for individual use is still limited. The purchase of solar panels is still low due to their expensive price and their difficult maintenance.
Morocco also needs to spread awareness across its citizens concerning the consumption of energy and encourage people to consume less in order to reduce their carbon footprint.