At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
An increasing part of the renewable energy programmes that Morocco is promoting – even on the official COP22 website – are not taking place in Morocco at all, but in Western Sahara, which it illegally and brutally occupies.
Both the Moroccan government and a handful of renewable energy companies will actively market their efforts for the development of green energy solutions during the COP22 climate talks in Marrakech, 7-18 November 2016.
22 newly built mills by the German company Siemens supply 95% of the energy required for the highly controversial plunder of non-renewable minerals from Western Sahara. The green energy production is making Morocco’s plunder of the territory even more lucrative.
By 2020, more than a quarter of all Morocco’s green energy production will be located in the territory it holds under foreign occupation, a new WSRW report documents.
Download here the report Powering the Plunder – What Morocco and Siemens are hiding at COP22, Marrakech (2MB) [or download high resolution, 16 MB]
Siemens and the Italian company Enel are those most heavily involved. They win Moroccan tenders in Western Sahara by partnering with the energy company owned by the king of Morocco.
"When the Moroccan royal palace – which regulates the energy market – receives large energy contracts in the territory, it comes at a high price for the UN peace process in Western Sahara", stated Erik Hagen of Western Sahara Resource Watch.
“By exporting the energy to Morocco proper, the country and the royal family anchors its connection to the territory. Would the king be interested in a process of self-determination and decolonisation in Western Sahara when he, himself, is benefiting from the Moroccan army’s illegal presence there?”, stated Hagen.
The legal owner of the land, the Saharawi people, have never consented to the Moroccan projects. Half of the territory’s original population has fled the country since Morocco invaded it in 1975. Leading opponents of socio-economic marginalisation of the Saharawis are serving life sentences in Moroccan jails.
This report details how Morocco plans to build over 1000 MW (megawatts) of renewable energy plants in Western Sahara. As of today, the controversial energy production from solar and wind sources in Western Sahara constitutes at most 7 percent of Morocco’s total energy production from such sources. By 2020, the amount could be increased to an astonishing 26.4 percent.
Western Sahara Resource Watch demands the involved companies to terminate such infrastructure projects in Western Sahara with the Moroccan government, in order to not lay obstacles to the UN peace process.
The report can also be downloaded in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Swedish, Danish.
Siemens Gamesa, Siemens Energy and Enel Spa have been excluded by Norwegian asset manager Storebrand for contributing to violations of international law in occupied Western Sahara.
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The following overview enlists stock-exchange registered companies currently operating in Western Sahara. Updated 5 October 2020.