Moroccan claim to declare a “climate emergency”.

Morocco’s fires destroyed around 10,500 hectares of vegetation in 5 days (Jalal Morshedi / Anatolia)

Two Moroccan bodies active in the field of the environment called on the Moroccan parliament (the first chamber of the parliament) to declare a “climate emergency” to address the country’s poor situation in the face of climate change to overcome.

The “Morocco Association of Friends of the Environment” and the “Youth Movement for Climate”, through a petition they launched with the support of the “Greenpeace” international organization, called for official recognition of the impact of climate change in Morocco, such as e.g. declared a water emergency, and made it clear that today the country is witnessing many climate-related disasters, the main ones being drought, water stress, floods and high temperatures that lasted for more than two weeks this year, 48 degrees. Celsius in some areas, in addition to fires that destroyed about 10,500 hectares of vegetation during the period between July 13 and 18 Last July, while last year Morocco lost about 2,782 hectares of forests due to the outbreak of 285 fires.

The two bodies noted that Morocco has adopted a voluntary, integrated, participatory and responsible approach to adaptation efforts, which is one of the main pillars of its national strategy for sustainable development, aware of the repercussions of climate change on environmental systems and social and economic sectors the recent years. It joined the international efforts to combat climate change by signing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 and ratifying it in 1995, as well as the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. In addition, Morocco has the took fourth position in terms of climate performance after Sweden, the United Kingdom and Denmark, according to the report on climate performance index of 2021. However, the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has raised concerns in this regard.

In this context, the head of the “Moroccan Association of Friends of the Environment,” Mohamed Benabou, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed today, Monday, that the launch of the petition calling for a state of “climate emergency” to be declared is aimed at accelerating the implementation of many programs that the Moroccan state is working on on the ground to face climate change. And to prepare the state for all scenarios, especially in light of the current talk about the decline in biodiversity, forest fires and the rise of the ocean tide.

Benabou added, “The petition is a kind of awareness of risks, and we believe that the legislative institution is the most suitable place to discuss its content, demands and special programs to confront climate change, and to activate the legal system to demand. in order to protect the environmental system,” noting that “there is a bet to involve Moroccan legislators in discussing the petition and programs.” Patriotism to confront climate change and engage in this dynamic by holding the government accountable and proposing legislative texts.

Benabou indicated that the number of signatures on the petition launched on the “Sawt” platform, launched by “Greenpeace” as the first platform specialized in environmental campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa, is 1,200 have reached and note that the ceiling for required signatures is 2,000. He continued that Those in charge of the petition “bet on the interaction of citizens and the nation’s delegates to reach 5,000 signatures, which must be deposited with the administration of the Moroccan Parliament.”

The “Morocco Friends of the Environment Association” and the “Youth Movement for Climate” based their demand for the declaration of a “climate emergency” on article 40 of the Moroccan constitution, which states that “everyone must bear, in a manner of solidarity , and in proportion to the means they have, the cost.” required by the development of the country, as well as those resulting from the burdens arising from pests and natural disasters that afflict the country.

The two bodies also relied on climate legislation and plans (National Climate Plan 2030), which recognized the need for territorial councils to contribute and lay the foundation for low-carbon development and the fight against climate change, which is a tangible response to Morocco’s national and international commitments parallel the country’s ambition to reduce the emission of gases that cause global warming, and success in efforts to adapt to climate change by reaching 52 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, while reducing energy consumption by 15 percent through the volume of water resources mobilization, support of forest preparation and reforestation, as well as the improvement of irrigation techniques. .

In the petition, the two bodies called for the urgent preparation of a road map to expedite the completion of the projects proposed by the National Program for the Supply of Drinking Water and Irrigation Water (2020-2027), which aims to develop the water supply. , support and diversify sources of water supply, and conserve water and distribution networks. Reusing waste water, diversifying the water supply, preventing irrigation of green spaces and golf courses with traditional water, i.e. potable water, surface or ground water, preventing the washing of streets and public places with treated water, preventing illegal collection of water from holes, wells, fountains and irrigation canal water, and preventing the use of Water to wash vehicles and machinery.

The two bodies emphasized the importance of involving civil society actors at all stages of establishing the climate emergency, from planning to implementation, to “ensure the speed and efficiency of its implementation.” They also called for the formation of a committee that monitors the implementation of the action program. It is composed of government representatives and experts in every field related to climate change: water and forests, energy transition and sustainable development, agriculture and fishing, health and social protection, in addition to civil society representatives.

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