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Showing How It’s Done: Morocco Leads Developing Countries on Sustainable Development Efforts

Kristen Kouttab
September 21, 2017

Morocco has a proven track record of finding green solutions to its energy needs and development goals. The country continues to demonstrate that it is still a climate change champion, and its efforts have been widely recognized. According to a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, Morocco is “at the forefront of a renewable revolution,” and in Germanwatch’s 2017 Climate Change Performance Index, Morocco placed 8th worldwide, and led the developing world by a wide margin.

At the same time, Morocco has also made clear its commitment to Africa and has made a special effort to focus international attention on addressing development and sustainability issues in developing countries, as well as to push for South-South cooperation in tackling these needs.

As these efforts continue to intertwine, Morocco is a natural location to host conferences focused on sustainable development and renewable energy in emerging economies.

After hosting last year’s 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) – where King Mohammed VI led a side session for African leaders – Morocco maintains its strong involvement. From September 11-13, 2017, the city of Agadir hosted the 2nd annual Climate Chance Summit, when more than 2,000 non-state actors from nearly 80 countries convened to discuss their role in supporting state-level commitments to combat climate change. And this week, on September 19, Morocco organized a meeting in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss South-South collaboration to address climate change and strengthen cooperation on commitments made during COP22.

The 2017 Hotelier Summit (North Africa) in Casablanca from October 4-6 will focus on sustainability in the real estate and hospitality industry, with a vision “to develop Africa in such a manner that every African has access to affordable housing and Africa is looked up to as the most progressive regions of growth in the global real estate map.” Morocco’s Green Building Council will serve as the Official Sustainability Partner of the Summit.

Also in Casablanca is this year’s Africa Renewable Energy Forum, which will gather the public and private sector from November 29-December 1 to “explore practical solutions on clean project financing, climate-smart solutions, and innovative community-owned projects” across the African continent in the context of COP22 commitments.

The 7th Digital Earth Summit (DES-2018) will convene April 17-19, 2018 in El Jadida, bringing together scientists and professionals from the African and international community under the theme of “Digital Earth for Sustainable Development in Africa.” It will be the first time an African country has hosted the summit.

Among developed and developing countries alike, strong leadership will be needed to address climate change and meet energy needs through sustainable development. Morocco is showing how it’s done.

Kristen Kouttab is the Deputy Communications Director at the Moroccan American Center

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