Under 1.5°C compatible cost-effective pathways, Morocco’s domestic emissions reduce to 0-21% below 2010 levels (or 60-76 MtCO₂e) by 2030 excluding LULUCF. Morocco’s NDC target would therefore fall within the upper limit of a 1.5°C compatible pathway.
Moroccoʼs total GHG emissions
excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr
- 1.5°C compatible pathways
- Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
- Current policy projections
- 1.5°C emissions range
- Historical emissions
Submitted in 2021, Morocco’s updated NDC has an emissions reduction goal of 45.5% below BAU by 2030, which translates, when excluding LULUCF, to a 1% emissions reduction below 2010 levels by 2030. The overall target includes an unconditional component of 18.3% below BAU by 2030.1
1 Ministère de l’Energie, des M. et de l’Environnement, D. de l’Environnement. Contribution Déterminée au Niveau National – Actualisée. (2021).
2 Chargé de l’Environnement. 3éme Communication Nationale du Maroc à la Convention Cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques. (2016).
3 Chargé de l’Environnement. Plan Climat National à horizon 2030. (2020).
4 Département du Développement Durable. 3ème Rapport Biennal Actualisé du Maroc dans le cadre de la CCNUCC. (2022).
5 Département de l’Environnement. 2ème Rapport Biennal Actualisé Dans le cadre de la convention cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques. (2019).
6 International Energy Agency. Morocco: Data Browser. International Energy Agency. (2022).
7 Climate Action Tracker. Morocco: Policies & action. Climate Action Tracker. (2021).
8 Hatim, Y. Morocco Extends Jorf Lasfar Power Plant Contract With Emirati Company. Morocco World News. (2020).
9 Ministry of Economy and Finance. Signing ceremony for the extension of the Power Purchase Agreement of the Jorf Lasfar Thermal Power Plant. Ministry of Economy and Finance. (2020).
10 Climate Action Tracker. Morocco: Targets. Climate Action Tracker. (2021).
11 MAP Ecology. «Forêts du Maroc 2020-2030» : Une stratégie consacrant la vision royale du DD. Agence Marocaine De Presse. (2020).
12 Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau portable. Production de l’Electricité. Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau portable..
13 Nareva. Our Assets and Projects: Safi Thermal Power Plant. Nareva. (2020).
14 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.
15 It should be noted, however, that an increased share of electricity can only facilitate the decarbonisation of the building sector if the electricity is sourced from renewable energies. The “Power” section of this profile elaborates on the pathways for decarbonisation of Morocco’s power sector.
Current policy projection
However, current policy projections suggest that Morocco’s emissions will reach between 75-115 MtCO₂e by 2030. While the lower bound of these projections is close to reaching the conditional NDC target, the higher bound falls far short of being on a Paris Agreement compatible pathway.
Morocco submitted its 2050 long-term strategy to the UNFCCC in December 2021. While it does not include a quantified emissions reduction target by 2050, the strategy aims, among others, at increasing up to 80% the renewable energy share in the power sector by 2050 and electrifying end-use sectors. The strategy states the goal to reach ‘carbon neutrality during this century’.
By 2050, Morocco would need to reduce its emissions to between 29-38 MtCO₂e per year to be compatible with 1.5°C global least-cost pathways. This is equivalent to a 50-62% reduction in emissions relative to 2010 levels. On the road towards net zero, Morocco will need to balance its remaining emissions through the development of carbon dioxide removal approaches, or by implementing stringent policies to enhance the role of the LULUCF sector as a carbon sink and source of negative emissions.14
- Morocco’s NDC includes a target to reach 52% of renewable installed capacities in the power sector by 2030.
- 1.5°C compatible pathways indicate that Morocco would need to reduce its share of fossil fuels from 81% in 2019 to between 2-9% in 2030. Coal would need to be fully phased out of the national power mix by 2030, and natural gas would need to be phased out between 2028-2034. This will drive the full decarbonisation of the power sector by 2035-2038.
- This stands in contrast with the country’s NDC target of installing at least 450 MW of imported natural gas capacity by 2030.12 Morocco’s National Climate Plan also explicitly articulates intentions to increase imports of LPG for industrial use, and to enhance the use of natural gas in the industry sector by 2030.3 Morocco would then be at risk of being stuck with stranded, carbon-intensive assets with high upfront investment.
- Buildings account for 9% of Morocco’s total GHG emissions in 2018. The government anticipates energy consumption to increase due to population growth and utilisation of air conditioning and heating systems across the country.4
- To align with 1.5°C compatible pathways, Morocco would need to reduce the direct annual CO₂ emissions from the buildings sector from 8 MtCO₂ in 2019 to 0 MtCO₂ between 2039-2056. This can be achieved through a rapid increase in the electrification rate of the sector. The share of electricity would need to rise from 27% in 2019 to 41-50% in 2030, and 82-85% by 2050 .15
- The industry sector accounted for 10% of the country’s total GHG emissions in 2018. While Morocco has set mitigation targets for this sector, one of the interventions involves the utilisation of 500 million m³ of natural gas between 2021 and 2023 to replace fuel in thermal processes. Increasing the use of natural gas stands in contrasts with what would be required in a 1.5°C compatible pathway.4
- To be aligned with 1.5°C compatible pathways, Morocco’s industry sector would need to decarbonise between 2048-2054, with direct CO₂ emissions reducing from 8 MtCO₂/year in 2019 to 3 MtCO₂ in 2040, and 0-2 MtCO₂ by 2050.
- The collective share of electricity, biomass, and hydrogen in the sector’s energy supply would need to increase from 34% in 2019 to 52-62% in 2040, and 73-85% by 2050.
- The transport sector has the highest share of total final consumption of energy in Morocco (around 37% in 2019) and is powered almost exclusively by imported oil.
- To maintain alignment with 1.5°C compatible pathways, Morocco needs to reduce the direct annual CO₂ emissions from the transport sector from 19 MtCO₂ in 2019 to between 9-10 MtCO₂ in 2030, and fully decarbonise the sector by 2049-2062.
- This can be achieved through a rapid electrification of the sector with the share of electricity rising from 1% in 2019, to 5-45% in 2030, and 40-91% by 2050.15
- The adoption of electric-powered vehicles and enhanced public transit options are key avenues through which the necessary decarbonisation may be achieved.