OCP’s Green Investment Program, an economic development strategy that will strengthen long-term sustainability

Interview with Zin El Abidin TAIMOURI (MAP)

Casablanca – Doctor of Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences, Researcher – Regional Program on Energy Security and Climate Change – Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, Yassine Zeghzouti in an interview with MAP about the new green investment program recently presented by the OCP group to King Mohammed VI and his Kingdom’s ten its impact on the sustainable development trajectory that it has started for more than a year.

Q: OCP Group is about to launch a new green investment program. What does this program mean to you?

Answer: This initiative is relevant and timely, as it is a logical continuation of all the efforts made by the OCP group to place sustainable development at the center of its strategy. These efforts will lay the groundwork to ensure success for this new green investment program.

The new Agenda also represents a desire to move from promises to action to combat climate change. Moreover, one of the goals of the last COP27 is indeed the implementation of climate commitments.

This plan is therefore perfectly suited to this international dynamic and will further strengthen and support Morocco’s efforts to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitments in terms of transitioning to green energies and a low-carbon economy. .

In addition, Moroccan industrial production will have to comply with new European measures under the Green Pact (Green Deal), mainly a carbon tax at the borders to ensure its decarbonisation and position on export activities. For this, Moroccan industry will have to lead a progressive zero carbon transition.

To this end, OCP’s investment in solar and wind power to provide green energy to all industrial facilities by 2027 should inspire other national industrialists to take up this option and therefore produce cleaner production while obtaining green electricity from renewable energies. must carry out the process.

The OCP Group will also be able to share with different Moroccan industrialists the most important challenges encountered during the implementation of this new Program.

The current context poses many challenges for Morocco, especially in terms of supply. Is it time for us to commit to green growth?

Most of the world’s countries have suffered from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This suffering has been exacerbated by the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

This unprecedented context poses a serious short-term challenge, but it offers Morocco an opportunity to focus its efforts on developing an economic growth strategy that will enhance long-term sustainability.

Indeed, green development is a strategic approach that can support this goal. The implementation of such a strategy is based on the assumption that the economy should continue to grow, but without negative consequences for the environment, that is, economic growth measured by GDP is associated with a reduction in resource consumption and environmental impacts. .

From a scientific point of view, it is debatable whether such a separation is real. Absolute decoupling is almost never observed in practice, and if it is, it occurs only over a clearly limited time period.

Therefore, some researchers doubt the possibility of “green development” in the long term. This is probably an unrealistic goal that policymakers should consider alternative strategies.

Nevertheless, the implementation of a multi-sectoral green development approach or a green development strategy in Morocco, consistent with both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, could provide new impetus to other activities. national strategies and programs have already been defined.

This program has socio-economic ambitions in terms of employment and support to SMEs. What impact do you think this would have on the overall economic dynamics of the Kingdom?

Over the past decade, Morocco has launched environmental dynamism in various economic sectors, particularly through the implementation of strategic programs and policies (energy transition, carbon neutrality, etc.) aimed at providing sustainable solutions to the main challenges of climate change. , present and future, facing Morocco. Its programs are likely to open up new green and decent job opportunities for the younger generation.

Through this ambitious green investment program of OCP, these opportunities will clearly multiply. But the question that has always been controversial in Morocco is: do the launch of these projects benefit SMEs and VSEs?

To this end, the commitment of this program to create 25,000 direct and indirect jobs, the support of 600 Moroccan industrial companies answers this question and will allow a good integration of these operators.

I think that this support should be linked to the launch of specialized technical and vocational training programs (bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) in various fields, and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) can play a major role in this program.

Can Morocco rise to the level of a world leader in green hydrogen, as in fertilizers, thanks to this new Program?

It is clear that this program will follow a very clear path that will lead Morocco to carbon neutrality in 2050, and green hydrogen will be an interesting lever to move the Kingdom forward to achieve this goal.

In this regard, Morocco is well positioned to become a major producer of green hydrogen, given its abundance of renewable energy resources.

On the other hand, the production of green hydrogen requires a lot of water resources, which will create a number of problems for a country like us that is experiencing a severe drought period. The solution to finding a balance is to turn to seawater desalination.

This solution is positioned in OCP’s Green Investment Program as an important element to meet the need for one of the key components in the value chain of green hydrogen production, i.e. water.

Green hydrogen can also be used to produce carbon-free ammonia, which will drastically reduce OCP’s ammonia imports, which are used to produce various types of fertilizers marketed by the Group.

These green investments will position OCP as a world leader in fertilizers. This place will be further strengthened by the research work carried out by the various research structures of UMP6 aimed at the production of new generation fertilizers and fertilizers.

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