Morocco’s National Action Plan Signals New Era in the Country’s Climate and Clean Air Commitment

The Climate and the Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) partnered with the Department for Sustainable Development of the Kingdom of Morocco to integrate climate and air quality actions

Morocco has been a partner of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) since 2014 and has received financial and technical support to develop a National Action Plan to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. In 2021, Morocco finalised and validated its National Action Plan to fight Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, helping to guide the country towards a future where its citizens are better protected against the negative health and economic effects of air pollution while contributing to international climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Air pollution is responsible for an estimated seven million deaths around the world every year.

“This work with the CCAC has helped raise awareness among Moroccan actors and decision-makers of the importance of joining the Coalition and it has increased the awareness that mitigating the impacts of SLCPs, and consequently GHGs, is of paramount importance and urgent in the short term,” said Amal Lemsioui, the Head of Pollution Prevention and Response Division at Morocco’s Ministry of the Environment. 

This work with the CCAC has helped raise awareness among Moroccan actors and decision-makers of the importance of joining the Coalition and it has increased the awareness that mitigating the impacts of SLCPs, and consequently GHGs, is of paramount importance and urgent in the short term,”
Amal Lemsioui
Head of Pollution Prevention and Response Division, Ministry of the Environment, Morocco

If the country’s plan is fully implemented, particulate matter (PM 2.5) in the transport sector will be reduced by 51.6 percent from 2014 levels. It will also reduce emissions in the household energy sector by 94 tonnes from projected 2040 levels, including a 0.9 percent reduction in methane and a 0.8 percent reduction in black carbon. The plan is also aligned with Morocco’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), fostering synergies between air pollution and climate action and reducing additional resources needed for implementation.

Two-thirds of the plan’s actions are borrowed from the NDC. If priority actions are wisely implemented, they would improve Morocco’s air quality while strengthening the country’s contribution to the fight against climate change.

With CCAC support, Morocco has succeeded in enhancing its NDC, including measures in the major-methane-emitting waste sector with goals to increase household waste collection to all urban residents by 2030, as well as to establish landfill and recycling centres and increase the sorting of household waste.

The plan aims to map the existing SLCP landscape in Morocco to complement rather than replicate existing programs, projects, strategies, and policies. It will also assess the mitigation potential and co-benefits of SLCP reduction in order to identify priority mitigation measures at the national level. Morocco will then develop SLCP and greenhouse gas emissions projections in partnership with the CCAC for all of its major emitting sectors, using 2014 baseline projections. 

To carry out this ambitious agenda, Morocco will create an SLCP mitigation unit and foster cross-sector collaboration. This will involve relevant ministries from across the government including those with mandates in finance, environment, health, climate change, national planning, and infrastructure. 

Previous work has helped to build the foundation for this success. Through its longstanding partnership with the CCAC, Morocco developed its first-ever national SLCP inventory by identifying and analysing the country’s major emissions sources. This information helped Morocco develop their Nationally Determined Contribution and measure the exact impact of every mitigation effort. The partnership has helped raise awareness about short-lived climate pollutants amongst high-level politicians and decision-makers in Morocco.

Based on this work with the CCAC, Morocco identified the transport, household energy, industry, livestock, and energy sectors as priority areas for SLCP mitigation. The actions it will prioritise in these sectors include continuing to implement the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a plan that will reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) production by 80 percent over the next 30 years, avoiding up to 0.1°C of warming by 2050 and 0.4°C by the end of the century.

To help accomplish these targets, Morocco plans to start implementing Euro 6 fuel standards in 2023, an action that is alone responsible for almost 38 percent of the expected reduction of particulate matter in the transport sector. Morocco will also improve the household waste sector by converting waste into biogas.

Morocco has already held workshops to raise awareness and mobilise partners to carry out this work and hopes to continue reflecting SLCP mitigation into existing and new policies and frameworks, as well as increase the funding for climate and clean air work.

A major challenge for Morocco will be accessing sufficient financing to implement this work, particularly given Morocco’s ongoing economic development and the economic crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Morocco will also need technical support to properly measure, report, and verify (MRV) its emissions mitigation efforts to track what is and isn’t working.

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