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FEATURE STORY August 29, 2019

Cross-sectoral Approaches to Achieving Morocco’s Climate Commitments


Buildings with rooftop solar panels in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/KMW Photography

This story is part of a series focusing on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and ambitious climate actions that countries are taking to bring about a low-carbon, climate-resilient transformation. It draws from projects being supported by the World Bank’s NDC Support Facility, a trust fund financed by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


  • The World Bank’s NDC Support Facility has helped the Moroccan government understand the impacts of climate policies on different sectors of the economy, as well as worked to enhance technical capabilities and cross-sectoral coordination to implement Morocco’s NDC.
  • Improving the coherence of policies and public expenditure frameworks across ministries and sectors is crucial to accelerating the implementation of national climate commitments.
  • Championing policies to scale up renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures in Morocco’s buildings can unlock opportunities to substantially reduce the country’s energy consumption.


Other impacts - rising temperatures, reduced rainfall, growing water scarcity, and encroaching sands of the Sahara on oases and fragile ecosystems – are also already taking place.

Morocco has mounted a robust response to these challenges. As part of Morocco’s NDC submitted in the run-up to the Paris Agreement, the country committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2030 compared to business-as-usual, with the possibility of a reduction of 42% conditional on receiving international support.

Morocco is also a member of the NDC Partnership and has worked with the NDC Support Facility on analytical studies and capacity building initiatives for cross-sectoral climate policy planning and coordination to help achieve the country’s climate commitments. Here are three of the most transformative areas of collaboration.

First, economic models were developed in close collaboration with local experts that have enabled the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Secretariat for Sustainable Development and key line ministries to assess the impacts of climate policies on different sectors of the economy. This is critical to inform the government’s policies and investment decisions in everything from shifting consumer behavior towards improved energy efficiency to increasing private investment in low carbon solutions. For instance, the building sector could see major energy savings of about 9 TWh per year by adopting policies to scale up distributed renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency. This corresponds to about a quarter of the energy currently consumed by the building sector in Morocco and more than 8% of the overall GHG emission reduction target set in the Moroccan NDC for 2030. To unlock these opportunities a cross-ministerial platform has also been formed. Its mandate is to focus on green fiscal reforms and energy efficient buildings and to mobilize different sectors to accelerate policy reforms and strengthen overall climate action.

Second, analytical work was undertaken to generate strategic and practical recommendations for the implementation of adaptation related components of Morocco’s NDC. In particular, the nexus of groundwater, energy, and food is a key issue for adaptation because Morocco is a water-scarce country with dwindling groundwater reserves and a strong dependence on rain-fed agriculture. While regulations alone may be insufficient for preventing the overexploitation of groundwater resources, community-based approaches to manage water consumption patterns, economic instruments for demand-side management and greater awareness raising of water scarcity issues are among the solutions that could deliver strong results. Additionally, given the importance of cross-sector coordination for climate action, aligning policy and public expenditure frameworks with programs across sectors and ministries will also be essential. The impacts of climate change aren't restricted to single sectors -reduced groundwater impacts everything from energy supply to agriculture. “Ensuring strong adaptation responses will therefore require working across a range of ministries. Collaboration across sectors not only ensures that public spending is more effective but also helps in mobilizing much needed private capital,” says Craig Meisner, the Project Team Co-Leader.

And third, building in-country capacity is key. The Climate Change Competencies Center of Morocco (“4C Maroc”) is a public interest group that serves as a hub for sharing expertise and international experience on climate action issues. It has contributed to the development of a national Monitoring, Reporting and Verification system to oversee NDC implementation in close coordination with other engaged initiatives in Morocco. 4C Maroc has the potential to become a leading platform for regional collaboration and knowledge sharing on Africa’s climate change agenda. Other countries in Africa can also benefit from adopting a similar platform to streamline and bolster the implementation of their climate action initiatives.

“By putting in place economy-wide approaches - through modeling of climate impacts, cross-sectoral policy reforms, and strengthening institutional coordination of climate action – Morocco is demonstrating climate leadership to inform its next-geneneration NDC and achieve longer term low-carbon, climate resilient development outcomes,” says Alexandrina Platonova-Oquab, the Project Team Co-Leader.

Cross-sectoral policy solutions are crucial to deliver strong climate outcomes.


Project Team Leaders:

Alexandrina Platonova-Oquab is a Senior Carbon Finance Specialist at the World Bank. She can be reached at

Craig Meisner is a Senior Environmental Economist at the World Bank. He can be reached at

Grzegorz Peszko is a Lead Economist at the World Bank. He can be reached at