Paris Agreement targets
With its new NDC, Morocco shows commitment to the principles of the Paris Agreement by strengthening its pledge. Despite being a developing country with low per capita emissions, Morocco is taking responsibility in the face of a global climate crisis.
The new target includes an unconditional emissions reduction of 18.3% below BAU by 2030, up from a 17% reduction in the previous NDC. Thanks to an updated BAU scenario, the new target translates to an absolute emissions level that is 21% lower than that of the previous target—from 145 MtCO2e in the 2016 submission to 115 MtCO2e in the latest one (excluding LULUCF).
The conditional target has been strengthened to 45% below BAU by 2030, up from a 42% reduction target in the first NDC. We estimate this would translate to an absolute emissions level of 75 MtCO2e by 2030.
Morocco has put forward a detailed list of measures it will deploy to reach this new NDC target, separated into conditional and unconditional measures, with many of them already under implementation. It also mentions national strategies and plans, such as the national energy strategy, which aims to reduce energy consumption by 20% compared to a BAU scenario in 2030 and to reach a share of 52% of renewable energy in installed electric capacity by 2030.
However, there are measures that could jeopardise long-term decarbonisation and lead to either a lock-in of emissions or stranded assets, with the new NDC including plans to build additional natural gas infrastructure. The Moroccan electricity mix also continues to rely heavily on coal, which supplied over two-thirds of electricity demand in 2019. By 2040, coal-based electricity needs to be phased out globally, and much earlier for many regions. For the Middle East and Africa region, coal-based electricity would need to be reduced by 80% in 2030 (compared to 2010) and phased out by 2034.
Whereas the previous NDC already covered all sectors, the latest NDC has incorporated additional sub-sectors under industry—cement and phosphate production. The NDC pledge now adds hydrofluorocarbons in addition to the gases it previously included (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide).
Some elements are still missing or could be improved. Morocco still has a reduction target below a BAU scenario. Having a target expressed as an absolute emissions level or a reduction below a fixed base year would make the target more transparent. Morocco has also not yet put forward a net zero emissions target. Having a long-term, Paris Agreement compatible objective is important to ensure the short and medium-term are aligned with the long-term objective.
The CAT rates Morocco’s internationally supported target as “Almost sufficient” and its fair share target as “1.5°C Paris Agreement compatible ”.
We rate Morocco’s internationally supported reduction target (its conditional NDC) “Almost sufficient” when compared with modelled domestic emissions pathways. The “Almost sufficient” rating indicates that Morocco’s internationally supported target in 2030 is not yet consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit but could be, with moderate improvements. If all countries were to follow Morocco’s approach, warming could be held below—but not well below—2°C.
We rate the reduction target as “1.5°C Paris Agreement compatible” when compared with its fair-share contribution to climate action. The “1.5°C Paris Agreement compatible” rating indicates that Morocco’s fair share target is consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. Morocco’s fair share target does not require other countries to make comparably deeper reductions or greater effort and is in the most stringent part of its Fair Share range. Most studies that calculate Morocco’s equitable contribution to climate change mitigation result in increasing emissions allowances above today, still throughout 2030, at higher levels than projected emissions.
Further information on how the CAT rates countries (against modelled domestic pathways and fair share) can be found here.
Last NDC update
Morocco’s updated NDC, submitted on 22 June 2021, strengthens its 2030 target, improving it in two ways. First, both the unconditional and conditional 2030 emissions reduction targets have been revised to be more ambitious—from 17% to 18.3% below the business as usual (BAU) scenario for the unconditional target and from 42% to 45.5% for the conditional one. Morocco has also revised downwards the BAU scenario, to which the reduction targets are applied. For the unconditional target, this leads to 21% lower emissions (excl. LULUCF) in 2030 compared to the first NDC submission, and 29% for the conditional target.
Net zero and other long-term target(s)
Morocco does not have a net zero target.