Green finance in Morocco – Investing in the future?

Benedetta Ferraro

Expert in rural microfinance

The concept of “green finance” refers to all financial products supporting environmentally friendly projects and creating positive externalities which also have a positive social and economic impact. It does include green bonds, but also loans supporting activities related to green energies, or any other project aiming at climate change mitigation or adaptation for instance.

In the last years, this topic has also gained public attention as many protests claim for more respectful policies with regard to environmental and social capital shifting towards a greener and more equal economy, and these protests ask for real changes to the institutions. In fact, we do not deal only with actions at micro and individual level, but also – and mainly – at meso- and macro-level.

Change concerns all of us, but we are well aware that adopting environmentally friendly tools and habits is not easy, especially in economically and socially vulnerable contexts. And it is mainly in these contexts that it is necessary to intervene with more efficient and less costly solutions.

For 2019-2020, Microfinanza is in charge of a project of technical assistance in Morocco aiming at promoting innovative initiatives linked to green finance and the prevention of agricultural risk; a sector particularly affected by climate change, for which institutions struggle to provide solutions. In order to positively contribute to changes at local and regional level, Microfinanza will support five Moroccan microcredit associations (AMCs) in the framework of a program fighting poverty in rural contexts and supporting the microfinance sector in Morocco[1]. The choice of working with these rural-based institutions is thought-through: they are well rooted in local contexts and aim at strengthening their market positioning by investing in new financial and non-financial products. Microfinanza will assist these AMCs in the developing of products with a positive impact on the communities and on the environment. The context is rather favorable as Morocco has started to move towards a greener economy and society several years ago. In 2008, his Majesty the King Mohammed VI promoted and launched the plan “Maroc Vert” (Green Morocco), which has two main axes, i.e. modern agriculture development with high productivity and added value and solidarity support to the small farmers; in 2016 the initiative “Zero Mika”, Zero Plastic, was launched in order to make Morocco a plastic-free country; and in the same year, the solar installation Noor was opened, near Ouarzazate in the South, becoming one of the biggest in the world. Microfinance now has to find its new innovative way in order to adapt to a market always more demanding on environmental aspects.

The challenge is to assist the AMCs in order for them to become more attractive to their clientele, but also on the national and international market and to fulfill common goals: the enhance rural populations’ lives and resilience, as they are becoming more and more vulnerable because of climate change.

 

[1] The project is financed by the Italian Cooperation Agency (AICS) and overseen by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) in Morocco.

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