Euro-Parliamentarians oppose occupation energy imports
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As COP22 closes shop in Marrakech, a group of 51 MEPs has asked the European Commission to do all necessary to prevent the Union from becoming involved in Morocco's renewable energy plans in occupied Western Sahara.
Published: 18.11 - 2016 16:46Printer version    
As Morocco is developing energy infrastructure in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, there are two dangers for Europe. One is that the controversial projects are sponsored, the other that dirty energy is imported into the Union.

In their letter, dated 18 November 2016, 51 MEPs from near all political groups demand;
- Member States to provide information to companies wishing to invest on the Moroccan government's activities in Western Sahara contrary to international law.
- The European Union to ensure that its Moroccan energy imports do not include energy from Western Sahara and that its institutions comply with the EU's commitment not to allocate EU funds to these programs in Western Sahara.
- The Secretary General of the United Nations to ensure compliance with United Nations resolutions regarding the exploitation of natural resources in a Non-Self-Governing Territory.

The letter was addressed to European Commissioner for Climate and Energy, Spain's Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commission's Vice President, Dutchman Frans Timmermans and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Earlier this month, WSRW published a report outlining Morocco's plans to expand its wind energy capacity in the territory of Western Sahara that it illegally occupies since 1975. Morocco's energy projects in Western Sahara, no matter how green, contribute to cementing the occupation at a time when Morocco refuses to cooperate with the UN in finding a solution to the conflict.

Just this week, Morocco announced that Saudi firm ACWA Power would develop the first solar plants in the territory.

By 2020, Morocco's wind and solar capacity in the occupied territory will make up almost a quarter of its total wind and solar capacity.

    


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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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