Morocco and Ethiopia submit their climate commitments

16 June 2015

In preparation for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the 2015 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Morocco and Ethiopia have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). In early April, Gabon was the first African country to submit its climate action plan. Morocco and Ethiopia’s commitments were sent to the UNFCCC secretariat on 5 and 10 June respectively. These announcements bring the number of countries party to the convention, having submitted their INDCs, up to 40.

All countries party to the UNFCCC must submit their national contribution prior to the 21st conference, which will take place in Paris in December 2015. The conference is set to lead to a global climate agreement, which will make it possible to keep the rise in global temperature below an average of 2°c. The INDCs received before 1 October 2015 will be included in a synthesis report to be released on 1 November 2015, which will assess their combined effect.

In its  contribution, Morocco undertakes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent below “business as usual” by the year 2030. A goal which the document describes as unconditional. The document also outlines another goal: a 32 percent reduction which could be achieved provided that Morocco receives international financial support, namely through the Green Climate Fund.

“The effort that the Morocco will have to make to achieve this ambition requires an overall investment amounting to 45 billion US dollars, of which 35 billion rely on international support”, as stated in the contribution.

Morocco, which will host the 22ndUNFCCC Conference, will dedicate 10 billion USD to achieving its climate goals. Upon the announcement of Morocco’s commitment, the special envoy of the French President for the protection of the planet, French ecologist Nicolas Hulot, described as it as “quite ambitious”.

Ethiopia’s contribution, on the other hand, indicates that the country will focus on limiting its net greenhouse gas emissions to 145 megatons of CO2 equivalent by 2030. Put simply, this corresponds to a reduction of 255 megatons, i.e. 64 percent below the projected “business as usual” emissions.

A good deal of observers have welcomed this objective, which has been deemed very ambitious. “Ethiopia is showing the way for rich countries”, commended Tim Gore of Oxfam. For a country like Ethiopia, which is the second most populous country in Africa with steady growth rates of over 10 percent for a decade, this is an important challenge. 

ICTSD reporting; Morocco, Ethiopia Submit INDCs, 10 June 2015, IISD. 

This article originally appeared in Passerelles.

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