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University of Glasgow (2022)

The green economy of Morocco

Zaatari, Rami

Titre : The green economy of Morocco

Auteur : Zaatari, Rami

Université de soutenance : University of Glasgow

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2022

This thesis studies the green economy model of Morocco. This model was principally built on a transition to a renewable energy to respond to the country’s development challenges and to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Its challenges are linked to the consequences of climate change and to scarcity of fossil fuel energy sources. The central research question of this thesis is : to what extent may Morocco be able to achieve what it has promised to deliver by adopting its own green economy approach. The research question is addressed by analyzing the country’s time-series data, scrutinizing its model, and assessing its progress through a customised measurement framework. A mixed methods approach combining quantitative and qualitative analysis is used to answer the research question. This includes analysis of nine interviews with key informants in the energy sector and available data from Morocco’s national and international sources.

The results of the time-series analysis show that Morocco has only been able to slow carbon emission growth and delink emissions from its economic growth. Studying the energy transition to renewable energy, Morocco’s model largely ignores important elements to decarbonize its key economic sectors which are responsible for a large share of carbon emissions – in particular the transport, heating, industry and residential sectors. The measurement framework shows that Morocco is far from achieving its NDC commitments in any mitigation scenario, though the country has achieved some socioeconomic benefits. These findings demonstrate that Morocco’s green economy model is insufficient to help the country overcome its development challenges and meet its global commitments.

This thesis offers a new insight into Morocco’s green economy in theory and practice. It adds new depth to the discussion on the steady-state economy and the degrowth argument in terms of the possibility of reducing emissions, while keeping the economy growing. It supports the conclusion that middle-income economies follow a path of weak sustainability. This thesis also extends the application of the Porter Hypothesis to country level beyond the narrow view of traditional environmental policies. Moreover, this thesis provides a strong evidence for the existence of the Environmental Kuznets Curve theory in Morocco. This thesis proposes a customised green economy measurement framework for Morocco.

Key recommendations for Morocco to increase the possibility of greening its economy are an expansion of the economy’s electrification, an acceleration of the energy sector’s shift from fossil fuel to various renewable energy sources, and a decentralisation of its electricity system. This requires radical transformation in how to power its economy.


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Page publiée le 10 janvier 2023