🔎 Morocco; Carbon reduction; Sustainable Energy; Agriculture
Morocco is getting ready to launch a €200 million programme to spark investment in solar power projects in the agricultural sector by 2021.
The programme will launch under the guidance of the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Sustainable Development (Ministère de l’Energie, des Mines et du Développement Durable) and is set to promote the use of solar energy to power water pumps for irrigation in order to help farmers reduce their energy costs and use less butane gas in farming operations.
‘Agrovoltaic’ is a new concept, which puts energy models for agriculture in the energy transition context.
As energy constitutes one of the main operational costs of farming, solar power provides costs reduction, as well as flexibility.
The plan is to expand agricultural water access to more than 100,000 hectares of new land by 2021 and significantly increase agricultural output.
Due to the mobility and independency that solar power can provide, the idea of ‘dynamic’ agrovoltaic solutions is said to guarantee optimisation of agricultural production and profits.
Thus, the Moroccan Government will subsidise solar pumping solutions to encourage local initiatives and to enable larger farms to become more self-sufficient.
The programme is also part of Morocco’s ambitious plan to source 42 percent of its power needs from renewable energies by 2020, and 52 percent by 2030 not only to reduce fossil fuels consumption and mitigate emissions, but also for energy security reasons.
Earlier on September, the Ministry launched the works of the Steering Committee of the Joint Statement on Sustainable Electricity Trade with the European Union, « Roadmap for Sustainable Electricity Trade between Morocco and the European Internal Energy Market ».
Key partners of the initiative are the World Bank, the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Commission, and the European countries that are involved are France, Spain, Germany and Portugal.
This is one of the endeavours of North-African countries, which aim to harness their solar potential to open new intercontinental energy corridors, like for example the 4.5GW TuNur project in Tunisia.
The case for renewables in Morocco is very promising, given high solar irradiation and rising electricity demand.
The country is considered one of the sunniest countries in the world, with around 3000 hours of sunshine per year.
Published on Climate Action Programme on October 2, 2017.
Human rights and environment
In recent years, the recognition of the links between human rights and the environment has greatly increased. The number and scope of international and domestic laws, judicial decisions, and academic studies on the relationship between human rights and the environment have grown rapidly.
Many States now incorporate a right to a healthy environment in their constitutions. Many questions about the relationship of human rights and the environment remain unresolved, however, and require further examination.
As a result, in March 2012 the Human Rights Council decided to establish a mandate on human rights and the environment, which will (among other tasks) study the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and promote best practices relating to the use of human rights in environmental policymaking.
Mr. John Knox was appointed in August 2012 to a three-year term as the first Independent Expert on human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. His mandate was further extended in March 2015 for another three years as a Special Rapporteur.
The resolution 16/11 adopted by the Human Rights Council on 12th of April 2011 entitled “Human Rights and the environment” requested the Office of the High Commissioner “in consultation with and taking into account the views of States Members of the United Nations, relevant international organizations and intergovernmental bodies, including the United Nations Environment Programme and relevant multilateral environmental agreements, special procedures, treaty bodies and other stakeholders, to conduct, within existing resources, a detailed analytical study on the relationship between human rights and the environment” (para.1).
See also the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes
Human rights and climate change
In its 5th Assessment Report (2014), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) unequivocally confirmed that climate change is real and that human-made greenhouse gas emissions are its primary cause. The report identified the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters, rising sea-levels, floods, heat waves, droughts, desertification, water shortages, and the spread of tropical and vector-borne diseases as some of the adverse impacts of climate change. These phenomena directly and indirectly threaten the full and effective enjoyment of a range of human rights by people throughout the world, including the rights to life, water and sanitation, food, health, housing, self-determination, culture and development.