Morocco is dangerously close to the absolute shortage threshold

Morocco is at a critical moment in its development process, according to the latest report from the World Bank, which estimates that investing now in climate action will bring significant benefits to Morocco, by making it possible to create new jobs, revitalize rural areas and transform the country into an industrial hub.greenwhile helping it achieve its development goals more broadly.

Entitled ” Climate and development the WB report examines the relationship between Morocco’s development goals and climate change, both in terms of risks and opportunities. Drawing on an extensive body of quantitative and qualitative studies and ground-breaking modeling exercises1, this report analyzes the synergistic effects between the country’s development goals and climate change, examining the risks it poses to its development trajectory, but also the opportunities likely to arise from the global trend towards decarbonization.

Thus, the WB report quantifies 78 billion dollars in present value the total amount of investments necessary to firmly anchor Morocco on a trajectory of resilience and low carbon by 2050, before specifying that the realization of these investments will be progressive, but their considerable profitability, will make Morocco an attractive environment for foreign direct investment and an export center, in addition to stimulating economic growth.

To achieve this goal by 2050, the report emphasizes the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and the massive deployment of solar and wind energy.

According to its projections, more than 85% of electricity could be produced from renewable energies by 2050, compared to 20% in 2021, which would allow the creation of at least 28,000 net jobs per year (i.e. 140 000 jobs in five years) in the renewable and energy efficiency sectors alone. The gains on the employment front could even be greater when taking into account the development of green hydrogen, electric mobility or other green industrial investments, the report states.

Similarly, the WB report estimates the cost of decarbonization at around $53 billion over the next three decades, knowing that these investments will largely be borne by the private sector, subject to implementation. appropriate sectoral policies recommends the report, and whose net economic impact would be positive.

These include reduced imports of fossil fuels and ammonia, increased energy security, reduced air pollution and reduced vulnerability to international hydrocarbon price shocks.

Also according to the report, decarbonization could enable Morocco to become a net exporter of green energy and green hydrogen and make the kingdom a hub for green industrial investments and exports, particularly to the European Union. A sum of $23.3 billion by 2030 will therefore be required for investment needs in terms of mitigation and adaptation, $25 billion between 2031 and 2040, and $29.5 billion between 2041. and 2050.

Axel van Trotsenburg, Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank, pointed out that “at the given the effects of climate change, Morocco is already moving at high speed towards a low-carbon future”, noting that“this innovative report highlights the priority areas to be implemented to better manage water and other resources and decarbonize the economy so as to serve both climate and development objectives at the same time”.

The report, which identifies three priority issues in support of urgent climate action, namely combating water scarcity and droughts, improving resilience to floods, and decarbonizing the economy, also examines the cross-cutting issues of financing, governance and equity.

While Morocco is going through an exceptional period marked by drought, the report returned to this phenomenon by recalling that the Kingdom is an area with high climatic vulnerability and it is one of the countries in the world most affected by water stress. , since it is rapidly approaching the absolute shortage threshold set at 500 m3.

“Increasingly frequent and severe droughts are a major source of macroeconomic volatility and a threat to food security»,says the report, which argues that a 25% reduction in water availability across all sectors of the economy, combined with lower agricultural yields due to climate change, could reduce GDP by 6.5%.

The report also underlines that while investments in water infrastructure are of paramount importance, they must be accompanied by reforms in the water sector and changes in consumer behavior.

In addition, the WB document also points out that the Kingdom is prone to flooding indicating that 20 major events have been recorded over the past two decades, with average direct losses estimated at 450 million dollars per year and effects that have hit vulnerable households hardest, before specifying that the rise in sea level is aggravating flooding in coastal areas, which are home to more than 65% of the population and concentrate 90% of industry.

Regarding the sophisticated disaster risk management and financing system that Morocco has, the WB report considers that it is not yet fully operational. According to the report’s estimates, an optimal level of investment in disaster risk management would cover the equivalent of 15 to 20% of average annual losses, i.e. an average annual investment amount of between 67 and 90 million dollars.

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