Berlin and Rabat seek intensified cooperation on green energy
The governments of Morocco and Germany signed on 3 July 2012 a declaration of intent aspiring to unite Morocco’s solar and wind potential and Germany’s industrial experience in that field. The German government risks backing projects in occupied Western Sahara, warns WSRW.
The Declaration of Intent regarding the establishment of an energy-partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the German Bundesrepublic, signed yesterday, focuses on the need to further develop a bilateral partnership in order to expand renewable energy initiatives, and the need for political support for the Desertec project - a giant solar power project in the Sahara desert. By 2050, Desertec aims to supply 15% of Europe’s energy needs through solar energy generated in the Saharan desert. The project has been criticised for including occupied Western Sahara in its projected scope. A map depicting solar and wind plants in the occupied territory is still included on Desertec's webpages today.
No mention is done in the new bilateral declaration as to the scope of the partnership: Morocco sees Western Sahara as their own national territory. The German government, the UN and the International Court of Justice do not recognise Western Sahara as part of Morocco.
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.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
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.