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Morocco Ambition gap

What is Moroccoʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

1.5°C compatible pathways

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 2030.1 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.14

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.


Moroccoʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
Reference year
1.5°C emissions level
NDC (conditional)
NDC (unconditional)
Ambition gap
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
2030 emissions levels
Current policy projections
NDC (conditional)
1.5°C emissions level
Ref. year 2010

Energy system transformation

1.5°C compatible pathways would see the share of fossil fuels in Morocco’s primary energy mix reduce from approximately 91% in 2019 to around 4-12% by 2050, depending on the scenario. Simultaneously, the share of renewables would have to rise from 9% in 2019 to between 74-95% by 2050, depending on the scenario. Morocco’s CO₂ emissions would have to peak immediately and begin reducing thereafter.

Lower penetration of renewables would require the development of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches such as land sinks or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to balance residual emissions in the long term. Some models show that up to 14% of Morocco’s energy mix could be sourced from BECCS between 2040-2050, with the technology starting to be employed by as early as 2030. However, such technologies are not yet available in the country, and would require high upfront costs. The need for BECCS technology and their associated costs could be avoided by implementing stringent policies to enhance the role of the LULUCF sector as a carbon sink and source of negative emissions.14


Moroccoʼs primary energy mix

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020501 0001 5002 000
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020501 0001 5002 000
Low energy demand
20192030204020501 0001 5002 000
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020501 0001 5002 000
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Moroccoʼs total CO₂ emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂/yr

  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible emissions benchmarks

Key emissions benchmarks of Paris compatible Pathways for Morocco. The 1.5°C compatible range is based on the Paris Agreement compatible pathways from the IPCC SR1.5 filtered with sustainability criteria. The median (50th percentile) to 5th percentile and middle of the range are provided here. Relative reductions are provided based on the reference year.

Reference year
Reference year
Year of net zero
incl. BECCS excl. LULUCF and novel CDR
Total GHG
Megatonnes CO₂ equivalent per year
60 to 76
38 to 50
29 to 38
Relative to reference year in %
−21 to 0%
−49 to −34%
−62 to −50%
Total CO₂
36 to 49
10 to 29
2 to 19
Relative to reference year in %
−18 to 13%
−77 to −34%
−96 to −57%