Morocco’s updated NDC includes a conditional emissions reduction target of 45.5% below BAU by 2030, which translates, when excluding LULUCF, to 1% emissions reduction below 2010 levels by 2030. The NDC target includes an unconditional component of 18.3% below BAU by 2030. By comparison, 1.5°C compatible cost-effective pathways reflect the need for emissions levels to reach between 60-76 MtCO₂e by 2030 (or 0-21% below 2010 levels).
Morocco’s conditional NDC target would therefore fall within the upper limit of a 1.5°C compatible pathway. However, current policy projections suggest that Morocco’s emissions will reach between 78-121 MtCO₂e by 2030 (or 3-60% above 2010 levels). While the lower bound of these projections is close to the NDC target, the higher bound falls far short of being on a Paris Agreement compatible pathway .
While Morocco’s conditional target would be compatible with 1.5°C pathways, this is contradictory to its plan to expand its coal pipeline, with the country currently building a 1.3 GW coal power plant and in the process of expanding existing coal power plants lifetime. The country would have to strengthen its current policies and activities, specially phasing-out coal instead of expanding it, to ensure that a 1.5°C compatible pathway is achievable by 2030.
Long term pathway
Morocco submitted its 2050 long-term strategy to the UNFCCC in December 2021. While it does not provide a quantified emissions reduction target for 2050, the strategy aims, among others, at increasing the share of renewables in the power sector to up to 80% by 2050 and electrifying its end-use sectors. The strategy includes a goal to reach ‘carbon neutrality during this century’.
By 2050, Morocco would need to reduce its emissions to between 29-38 MtCO₂e to be compatible with 1.5°C pathways. This is equivalent to a 50-62% reduction in emissions relative to 2010 levels.
Most analysed scenarios show the energy sector decarbonising first between 2045 and 2065, depending on the scenario. One scenario also suggests that it is possible for the IPPU sector to decarbonise simultaneously with the energy sector around 2040-2045.
In all scenarios, agriculture persists as the largest sectoral source of emissions beyond 2050, with the waste sector being a relatively minor contributor in some scenarios. In all scenarios but one, the IPPU sector persists as the second-largest sectoral source of emissions beyond 2050.
On the road towards net zero, Morocco will need to reduce its reliance on coal which will be required to be phased-out around 2030 instead of moving ahead with its expansion projects with the risk of getting stuck in a carbon intensive pathway (see current situation for more information). On the long term, the country will need to balance its remaining emissions through the development of carbon dioxide removal approaches. However, such technologies are not yet available in the country, and would require high upfront costs.