Standing out from the crowd
In a region that has recently come to be associated with social upheaval and anemic growth, Morocco often stands out as an exception. Over the last decade the country has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty and sustaining economic growth. Policies focused on steady public finance consolidation and manageable budget deficits opened up the fiscal space for sustained investment and social expenditures. Following the 2011 demonstrations, a new constitution was ushered in, accompanied by the launch of a number of reform programs aimed at responding to popular demands for more voice and accountability.
That the country is also rapidly turning into a beacon of environmentally sound policies and domestically driven climate action is a less known fact.
Morocco has set out to reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels. An ambitious target of 42 percent of installed renewable energy capacity by 2020 has been established, coupled with the goal of a 15 percent reduction in projected energy demand through the implementation of energy efficiency measures. To reinforce its energy conservation and anti-pollution program, the country has also recently started reducing expensive energy subsidies on diesel, gasoline and heavy fuel oil.
Through the Plan Maroc Vert, the national agricultural strategy, Morocco aims to achieve the triple win of growth, adaptation and mitigation. This will entail investments to enhance agricultural productivity together with measures to improve the sector’s water resource management, and reduce its fossil fuel consumption. Soil carbon management techniques, such as ‘direct seeding’, are also being introduced.
The country has made the sustainability of fish stocks a central tenet of its fisheries strategy, Halieutis, in order to secure the durability of a sector responsible for 500.000 jobs. This is combined with efforts to preserve the coastal and mountainous areas that are central to the future development of the tourism sector, responsible for 11 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Morocco presented the central tenets of its green growth strategy to global private sector players at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos today. The country joins India, South Africa, the Philippines, Nigeria and Mexico in an initiative steered by the United Nations Secretary General to catalyze action on the ground and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by 2015.