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22 October 2023

Vendor selling lanterns in Morocco

PAGE led a training on “Promoting a green and inclusive economy to achieve the objectives of the new National Sustainable Development Strategy” on 19 – 20 October 2023 in Rabat, Morocco. Coordination of taxation mechanisms and governance coherence were discussed to impact key areas and achieve the SNDD targets.

The event took place in the Hassan II International Centre for Environmental Training and was intended for the members of PAGE steering committee. This training course was developed by UNITAR together with the ILO, UNEP, UNDP and UNIDO in partnership with the Hassan II International Centre for Environmental Training.

Seloua AMAZIANE, Head of the Partnership Division at Sustainable Development Department, recalled that: “The integration of environmental and social considerations into economic planning and policymaking has become a major concern, following the revision of the National Sustainable Development Strategy. At a time when Morocco is adopting a more determined stance to make its economy greener and its development more sustainable, the question of building the capacities of its key players arises, to ensure the effective participation of decision-makers and managers with the knowledge and qualifications required to make a success of the green and inclusive reform to which our country has committed itself”.

The initial training session examined the connection between the new SNDD and Morocco’s green and inclusive economy. The National Coordinator of PAGE, Ali BENRYANE, recalled the results of the green and inclusive economy’s diagnosis in Morocco and suggested approaches for PAGE’s involvement in priority sectors.

Discussions highlighted the need to assess financial instrument penetration in the capital market as a potential source of funding for green and inclusive transitions. The Ministry of Economy and Finance is currently in talks to identify the primary financial mechanisms to support this transition.

The discussions should help Morocco create a unique vision for integrating digitalization with national specificities and population needs. Digitalization is a pillar of the green and inclusive transition, but it should be paired with retraining programs to prevent job losses.

It's more than just a training course, this meeting is an opportunity for dialogue

Ayman Charkaoui, director of the Centre Hassan II

Seynabou Diouf, Green Jobs Specialist at the ILO Regional Office for Africa, spoke about the imperatives of a just transition towards ecologically sustainable economies and societies. Ms Diouf recalled that “Around 1.2 billion jobs depend on the health of ecosystems”. She also stressed that “this is a triple global crisis that requires the implementation of urgent policies at global level, because the equivalent of 80 million jobs is expected to be lost due to heat stress by 2030”.

Slimane MALIKI, Head of the Planning and Interministerial Coordination Department at the Ministry of Transition, Energy and Sustainable Development, presented the main thrusts of the draft revised SNDD.

The revised SNDD could be beneficial for initiating a green transition. It focuses on six domains of transformation towards sustainability, with the third concerning a competitive, low-carbon economy that generates wealth and employment.

“Action in this area of transformation towards sustainability will enable Morocco to accelerate and invest to ensure the transition to a low-carbon green economy that creates jobs and demonstrates the “Made in Morocco” concept, to consolidate and strengthen the Kingdom’s regional and international leadership”, explained Mr Maliki.

The revised version of the SNDD considers territorialization methods, but finalization of the governance scheme and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms is still ongoing. The revised version of SNDD was created through a participatory process that involved all sections of the Moroccan population, with a focus on young people

If the green transition is to succeed, the tax system must be adapted accordingly. For Claire POTDEVIN, Green Tax Expert at UN Environment, “Green taxation can be seen as an instrument of financing, redistribution and behavioural change”.

Green taxation must align public finances with sustainable development objectives. Mechanisms can be directed towards sustainability programs for mobilizing funds to finance the green transition. Therefore, political coherence and governance for a just transition are essential.

Benryane emphasized: “The governance of the revised SNDD should involve tools for the territorialization of the strategy. Governance should be adapted to local specificities through consultation and co-creation with local and regional authorities”.

The private sector can play a crucial role in financing the green and inclusive economy, with Public-Private Partnerships being strengthened by a greater role for private entities. This was discussed by two working groups.

To finance the green and inclusive transition, the central bank could consider environmental risks, and green KPIs could be included in the finance law. A climate unit will be created at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and extra-financial reporting will become common. The Moroccan Capital Markets Agency (AMMC) has introduced an ESG reporting obligation for companies making a public offering.

To improve the inclusive green economy, training course participants proposed developing a green investment taxonomy, improving sectoral policies, integrating environmental concerns into economic instruments, and collecting data. Digitalisation could assist in this regard. Green subsidies should be contingent on meeting environmental and social standards and green tax mechanisms should be decentralized to grant territories more autonomy and ensure budget efficacy while transferring power to them.

Morocco is a very important member of the PAGE family, with flagship initiatives such as the annual Green Crossroads Conference.

Amrei HORSTBRINK, Senior Specialist Green Development and Climate Change (UNITAR)

Morocco joined the Partnership for Action on the Green Economy (PAGE) in 2019 and began its implementation in April 2021 under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

UNIDO overviews the implementation of the PAGE programme in Morocco. PAGE is a joint initiative of UNIDO, ILO, UNEP, UNDP and UNITAR that supports 22 countries in shaping inclusive and green economy policy and practice.

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