• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Ahead COP22, experts reviews pricing of carbon


Marrakech was home to the Carbon 360 Forum from July 15 to 16.  Convened by the Moroccan and French governments, including the United Nations and with support from the World Bank, this key event on the climate action agenda was designed to accelerate and deepen the discussion on decarbonizing the economy and to develop tools and programs to convince and facilitate governments and non-state actors to design and implement carbon pricing mechanisms ahead of COP22 in Marrakech, November 7-18.
The two-day forum brought together technical experts, government officials and private sector leaders from Morocco and around the world.  The opening ceremony featured addresses from Minister Hakima El Haite, COP22 Special Envoy and Climate Champion, Mustapha Bakkoury, Director, MASEN, AminaBenkhadra, Director, ONHYM, Ambassador Aziz Mekouar, COP22 Head of Multilateral Negotiations, John Roome, Senior Director, Climate Change, World Bank, Jan-Willem van de Ven, Head of Carbon Market Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Paul Polman, CEO, UNILEVER.
Special sessions were dedicated over the two days to answer questions and generate actionable debates on the following priority areas: Recognizing national and subnational leadership in the transition towards cleaner energy mixes; Highlighting the need for coherent and predictable policies to more effectively drive the decarbonization of the global economy; Strengthening synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the Climate Agenda; Examining the pros and cons of various carbon pricing mechanisms (cap-and-trade, tax, etc)
Following a minute of silence for the victims of the attack in Nice, Minister El Haite opened the forum hammering home the need to decarbonize the global economy and to find ways to redistribute the revenues from carbon.  She highlighted the importance of networks and leveraging experience and ambition.  Morocco has taken an ambitious long view towards increasing the percentage of renewables in its energy mix.  To reach this goal and better address climate change she underscored that, “the Kingdom has a Climate Change Competency Center that it would like to see play a pivotal role in linking and leading regional and international networks of such Centers.”
During his keynote address, Paul Polman, CEO of UNILEVER laid out the trend in the international, business and financial world towards a low carbon energy future and the pivotal role carbon pricing mechanisms are playing in medium to long-term business planning.  He congratulated Morocco on “hosting COP22 in Marrakech and for being a member of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.” Mr. Polman provided tangible concrete facts to demonstrate the private sector’s interest and appetite for the transition towards lower carbon business models.  According to the CEO of UNILEVER, “200 of the world’s top companies saved over $1 billion dollars last year through the use of clean energy.”  He also reminded the audience that globally “$34 trillion dollars of Assets Under Management (AUM) are calling for a price on carbon.”  In his opinion, the adoption of carbon pricing mechanisms in China would be the tipping point for the rest of the world in terms of pricing carbon.  According to him “with the addition of Chinese carbon pricing mechanisms, the world will go from 13 percent to 20 percent of global emissions under carbon pricing schemes.”
Amina Benkhadra, director of the National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) shared her perspective on jurisdictions adopting carbon pricing and highlighted the conscious decision take by HM Mohammed VI to change Morocco’s energy strategy to incorporate more renewable. According to her “Morocco imports 94 percent of its energy, so in 2009, under the guidance of HM Mohammed VI, the King decided to pivot the country towards more energy security by incorporating increasing levels of renewable energy in the national mix.”  Through its successful implementation of clean energy projects such as NOOR1, the world’s largest thermal solar turbine plant (160MW), the Kingdom has raised its renewable energy target from 42 percent by 2020 to 52 percent by 2030.


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