Colonial greenwash

Morocco’s green image is based on occupation of Western Sahara

Morocco ranks second in the new Climate Change Performance Index. But a large percentage of Morocco’s green energy comes from Moroccan colony Western Sahara.
17. december 2018

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Morocco ranks as the second best country behind Sweden, but well ahead of the EU as a whole, in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) published last week. The index tracks the efforts to combat climate change by the EU and 56 countries that are responsible for 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

According to the index, Morocco “has significantly increased the share of renewables over the past five years and has increased new renewable energy capacity. With the connection of the world’s largest solar plant and multiple new wind farms to the grid, the country is well on track for achieving its target of 42% installed renewable energy capacities by 2020 and 52% by 2030”.

The problem is that a large percentage of Morocco’s renewable energy production does not in fact come from Morocco, but from the Moroccan colony Western Sahara, a fact that a recent UN Case Study also chose to ignore.

And Morocco is planning, or is in the process of building, more solar and wind energy facilities in Western Sahara. Over 40 percent of the wind energy produced by Morocco will be made in occupied Western Sahara by 2020, according to independent NGO Western Sahara Resource Watch.

Green energy legitimizes occupation
Erik Hagen from Western Sahara Resource Watch maintains that Morocco is actively using their green energy to legitimize and cement the illegal and brutal occupation of Western Sahara.

“This [CCPI] ranking is unfair. One should not give medals to those who build on stolen lands. Yes, Morocco deserves international praise for its efforts in the renewable sector. But it is not just to give positive attention to the energy infrastructure made by the Moroccan king's personal company on lands that his father brutally occupied”, Erik Hagen says.

“One should expect from such rankings that projects are only relevant when they are located in a certain country. Will Russian or Israeli energy projects in Crimea or Palestine also be accepted on such rankings? We will contact the authors to request that in future reports, projects can only be accepted as relevant if they are located in that given country”, Hagen adds.

The Climate Change Performance Iindex is published by German environmental NGO Germanwatch, German-based research organization the NewClimate Institute and global network the Climate Action Network.

The index has left the top three positions, reserved for a “very high” rating, empty as “no country is doing enough to prevent dangerous climate change”. “We are still on a path to more than 3°C [of global warming], still a catastrophic perspective”, the CCPI said in a press release.


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