Morocco must adapt to the climate threat

Morocco must adapt to the growing climate threat, and more frequent droughts require investments in water technologies, warns the Minister of Economy and Finance, Nadia Fettah Alaoui.

In the Sunday edition of the Financial Times business daily, Nadia Fettah Alaoui said that years of below-average rainfall demonstrate the importance of investments in water technologies.

The Minister of Economy and Finance said the country must adapt its economy to face the growing threat of climate change, with more frequent droughts requiring investments in water technologies and an acceleration of its effort in growth sectors such as car manufacturing.

Fettah Alaoui, noted that years of below-average rainfall, relating to climate change, had forced a rethink, adding that there had been times in 2022 when “ we were really worried about being able to provide drinking water to everyone“.

For many years we talked about drought as an exception… Now we are going to live as if we don’t have enough water“, she pointed out, indicating that “ 2022 was the year we decided we didn’t need action plans for specific years, but we needed a long-term vision“.

In the same vein, Youssef Brouziyne, head of the Middle East and North Africa at the International Water Management Institute, said that the year 2022 was “ very difficult because it was the fourth consecutive dry year“, which has depleted vital reservoirs. He added that climate studies suggest that Morocco and its region were facing more regular droughts and more frequent and intense water shortages.

Moreover, Fettah Alaoui pointed out that climate change would require accelerated investment in desalination plants, dams and water recycling systems. ” We want desalination to be done through public/private partnerships“, says the minister. The cost of water for households will be supported, while industry and other large users will pay a ” fair price“, she continues.

The Minister also mentioned the growing interest of investors in renewable energies, in particular wind energy and green hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water from renewable energy. The Kingdom already produces more than a third of its electricity from green energy.

Regarding the diversification of the Moroccan economy, it should turn to new sectors, such as the production of vehicles for European markets, and Nadia Fettah Alaoui indicated that this involved the training of thousands of skilled workers.

It should be recalled that the multinational “Stellantis”, world leader in the manufacture of cars, recently expressed its desire to double production capacity in the Kingdom, bringing it to 450,000 units, for a total investment of more than 3 billion dirhams, with , as a result, 2,000 new jobs in the Kenitra plant, which already employs more than 3,000 people, with a local integration rate of 69%.

According to the latest monthly foreign trade indicators, published by the Office des Changes, automotive sector exports reached their highest level in the last five years. These exports increased by more than a third to reach 77.68 billion dirhams for the first nine months of 2022. The Minister indicated that ” Morocco’s value proposition is much more sophisticated than just being close to Europe and cheaper“.

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