The First National Conference on the Carbon Market of Morocco: An invitation to Involve Local Authorities in the Process

The first national conference on the carbon market in Morocco was held at the Sofitel Hotel in Rabat on July 7, 2017 and saw experts underline the essential involvement of local authorities in the achievement of this mechanism. The goal of the carbon market is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to combat climate change. 

The first results of the feasibility studies for the creation of a carbon market in Morocco will be presented at the COP23 in Bonn, November 6-17, 2017.

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Organized by the State Secretariat to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development in charge of sustainable development in partnership with the World Bank, the conference aimed to define the relevant mechanisms needed to implement a Moroccan model that could be presented to the carbon market. In its ambition to combat climate change, Morocco, the host country of COP 22, envisages that it will stand as a model in the carbon market for other countries on the continent.

“It is important to involve the territories in the transition to low carbon energy,” was the position expressed and advocated during discussions by Mr. Mustapha Bakkoury, President of the Moroccan Agency for the Development of Renewable Energies (Masen) and President of the Region Casablanca-Settat,.

Experts on energy expressed their disappointment that carbon had not been sufficiently addressed at the previous COP stating, “During all the COPs, we talked about everything but not about the issue of Carbon. Carbon is probably the mechanism that will lead to a low carbon energy transition. It is important to involve the territories at this level. The solution is to talk about a global carbon market. We hope that carbon pricing will be placed on the COP23 agenda.”

Discussions surrounding how best to identify the mechanisms needed to achieve the climate commitments of Morocco took place over three panels.


Reducing Carbon Emissions in Morocco

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The first panel, which included the participation of Mr. Mustapha Bakkoury, was dedicated to the following question: “How can the major economic operators of Morocco contribute to the national effort to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement?”

The ONEE (National Office of Electricity and Drinking water), which contributes 13% of solar energy in Morocco, expressed its commitment to making a greater contribution through the implementation of its development plan 2017-2030. The “Royal Air Maroc” stated that it planned to reach -3% fuel consumption by 2020 having already launched a Fuel Efficiency Program since 2006 to reduce its fuel consumption.

The Mohamed VI Foundation for protection of the environment shared the benefits it had noted through the introduction of a carbon calculator in August 2016. The calculator is a tool that measures the carbon footprint associated with the different modes of commuting: travel by air, roads and rail.  The involvement of local authorities was again, requested by Mr. M. Abdelaziz Belhouji, adviser to the Mohamed VI Foundation, Mr. Lane Tijani, who stated, “The Carbon Voluntary Compensation program we have launched has an educational goal to encourage entrepreneurs to evaluate their emissions. This tool has been put in place for enterprises and will be put in the service of the territories.”


Carbon pricing

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Discussions on the second panel addressed, “New climate financial instruments as a support for the implementation of NDCs.”  Speakers noted that whilst article 6 of the Paris Agreement underlined the important role of carbon pricing, nevertheless, article 6 contained “complexities of funding,”- Aziz Martin, Ambassador Chief Negotiator for COP22. Sharing his support for the initiatives taken by Morocco, he stated, “Morocco has created a platform for identifying sources of financing within the NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions). We launched the NDC Partnership Platform for Capacity Building for Finance and created the Moroccan Climate Change Skills Centre (4C Morocco). The 4C includes the participation of State actors, companies, academic research, NGOs and local authorities. It is a central body of coordination and capacity building that will, with Burundi, represent Africa in the Paris Committee on Capacity Development.”

The Secretary of State Mrs.Nezha El Ouafi said, “Carbon finance is not only based on the market for GHG emissions, but especially on the carbon tax.”

Mr. Abdelaziz Bart of the Mohammed VI Foundation explains that Carbon pricing and carbon tax, are different. “The first is put in place to bear the cost of the damage caused by GHG emissions. While the second is a tax rate that is aimed at deterring the CO2 emitter” he says.


Best Practices

The last panel discussed, “State of the art carbon mechanisms in the world: “Best practices in the carbon market.”


For more information on the origin of the carbon market, watch this video:  The Carbon Market and the Unenforceable Agreement