Briefing Paper

Morocco’s Decarbonization Pathway: Part I: Introduction to a Joint Study

As part of its overall vision of sustainable development, Morocco intends to continue its efforts to combat climate change in order to ensure the transition to a low-carbon development model that is resilient to the negative impacts of climate change. In line with this vision, Morocco has made the fight against climate change a national priority and has transformed this constraint into a lever for building a green economy. This vision guides public action at sectoral, national, and local levels. As the energy sector is responsible for most of Morocco’s GHG emissions, accelerating the energy transition is a key element in the country’s decarbonization process. This pandemic, in addition to its disastrous health repercussions, has had a considerable negative impact, in the short term, on the Moroccan economy, with a severe contraction of 7% in 2020, mainly because of lockdown measures and the drastic decrease in foreign demand. Even though economic activity is expected to rebound in 2021, the COVID-19 crisis has also revealed the fragility of our economic systems and has shown, once again, the urgency of building a more sustainable future that ensures both economic development and environmental preservation. Given these considerations, and since decarbonization is a lengthy process, it is, therefore, essential to develop a long-term approach based on a thorough sectoral analysis of various decarbonization scenarios, so that decision-makers can be informed today about the appropriate actions to take. To this end, an energy transition study was carried out, which aims to contribute to the ongoing work on phasing out GHG emissions by 2050. This Policy Brief, the first in a series of four, introduces this joint study. It first presents the Moroccan energy context in terms of adopted energy strategies, and provides a brief assessment of the achievement of the energy sector. It also presents the objective of the study and outlines the issues to be addressed in subsequent policy briefs.