Moroccan King's windfarm in occupied land now carbon credited approved

One year ago, a wind farm project that Morocco is undertaking in occupied Western Sahara was turned down when seeking to obtain UN-sponsored carbon credits. Now, that same project has been approved by another, private credit issuing agency.
Published: 23.09 - 2013 16:18Printer version    
In May 2013, the Foum el Oued Wind Farm Project became registered at the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) - a voluntary greenhouse gas reduction programme. Having received a positive appraisal by SGS United Kingdom Limited, a British firm assigned to evaluate the project's compliance with VCS's standards, the Foum el Oued project can now obtain carbon credits, which can be traded in for hard cash.

There are two markets for carbon credits; the compliance or regulatory carbon market and the voluntary carbon market.

"While the former was set up by the international community to achieve governments’ and companies’ compliance with the Kyoto Protocol through a strict set of rules and standards, the latter lacks precisely that: government oversight and a clear, common set of procedures for selecting emission reduction projects. The voluntary market has nevertheless expanded tremendously over the past few years, and has become a lucrative business where anyone, including individuals, can purchase carbon credits to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions", says Eva Filzmoser from Carbon Market Watch, a Brussels based NGO advocating a fair and effective climate protection.

It is in this market that VCS is a big player, using its own set of standards to determine whether a project is eligible for carbon credits.

The Foum el Oued Project is to be operated and managed by NAREVA Holding, a Moroccan industrial and financial group controlled by the King of Morocco. German multinational Siemens AG has been contracted to supply the wind turbines and technical know-how to the project. According to the Moroccan agency for Electricity, the project should be up and running by 2014.

NAREVA’s attempt to register the Foum el Oued project in the UN dominated compliance market was unsuccessful. Det Norske Veritas, the Norwegian firm certified by the UN Clean Development Mechanism  to evaluate the project, turned the project down in 2012 precisely because it was located in a politically controversial area. With no prospect of obtaining carbon credits, the entire project became less profitable for the Moroccan operator. This may have motivated NAREVA's subsidiary Energie Eolienne du Maroc (EEM) to try the voluntary carbon market, where the lack of standardized rules seems to have played in its advantage.

WSRW has today sent a letter to the Board of VCS, requesting them to reconsider the registration of the Foum el Oued wind farm project.


06.03 - 2018 / 06.03 - 2018Kosmos Energy maintains propaganda site after Western Sahara exit
02.03 - 2018 / 01.03 - 2018What is HeidelbergCement doing in occupied Western Sahara?
01.03 - 2018 / 01.03 - 2018Confirmed: Innophos key client of Western Sahara phosphate rock
28.02 - 2018 / 28.02 - 2018South Africa stands up against the plunder of Western Sahara
28.02 - 2018 / 28.02 - 2018Bermuda shipping company drops Western Sahara
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018EU and Morocco announce continued fisheries partnership
27.02 - 2018 / 23.02 - 2018EU Parliament slams Commission on Western Sahara talks
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018Polisario: open to negotiate Western Sahara deals with the EU
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018Saharawi refugees celebrate EU Court victory
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018BREAKING: EU Court stops EU-Morocco fish deal in Western Sahara
23.02 - 2018 / 23.02 - 2018SA Court confirms: Morocco has no ownership over Saharawi phoshates
23.02 - 2018 / 21.02 - 2018EU Member States disagree over toxic fertilizers
21.02 - 2018 / 21.02 - 2018Vigeo Eiris goes back on false claim
20.02 - 2018 / 20.02 - 2018EU Parliamentarians concerned over Commission's respect of rule of law
15.02 - 2018 / 15.02 - 2018Sweden to vote against new EU-Morocco fish talks
08.02 - 2018 / 08.02 - 2018Studies continue on Kosmos Energy's block
07.02 - 2018 / 07.02 - 2018Kosmos and Cairn have pulled out of Western Sahara
07.02 - 2018 / 07.02 - 2018Why WSRW refuses to take part in the EU's Western Sahara consultation
03.02 - 2018 / 03.02 - 2018Unison condemnation of the EU Commission from Western Sahara groups
02.02 - 2018 / 01.02 - 2018Siemens fails to respond Western Sahara question at AGM


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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


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.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


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.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


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. News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy