MEPs urge EU not to get involved in Moroccan renewable energy projects in Western Sahara

Brussels, November 23, 2016 (SPS) - MEPs opposed the import of renewable energy from Western Sahara and the involvement of the European Union (EU) in the implementation of Moroccan projects in this territory Urged the European Commission and the UN Secretary-General to uphold the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples over their natural resources when they are under foreign occupation.

 

In a letter dated 18 November, 52 MEPs, representing almost all the political groups in the European Parliament, demanded that EU Member States provide information about companies wishing to invest in the activities undertaken by  Moroccan government in Western Sahara indicating that these activities are contrary to international law.

 

They also demanded from the EU to ensure that energy imports from Morocco do not include energy produced in Western Sahara and that its institutions respect the EU's commitment to not allocate funds for nuclear power plants for renewable energy in Western Sahara.

 

In a letter to European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, European Commissioner for Climate and Energy Miguel Arias Canete and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, MEPs Urged the latter to ensure the respect  of United Nations resolutions concerning the exploitation of natural resources in a non-self-governing territory.

 

According to a national program for the development of renewable energies, Morocco has installed solar power stations and wind farms in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, which has been included in the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories since 1963, MEPs In their letter.

 

They expressed their fear that the energy produced in this territory will be used to take advantage of resources already illegally exploited by Morocco in Western Sahara, thus intensifying the current looting.

 

"At present, 22 wind turbines manufactured by the German company Siemens provide 95% of the energy required for the Moroccan national company OCP (owned by the King of Morocco) for the controversial exploitation of phosphate on the territory of Western Sahara occupied by Morocco "They regretted.

 

According to these parliamentarians, the Kingdom of Morocco has elaborated an "ambitious plan" for the development of energy produced from wind and plans to install wind farms in Western Sahara.

 

"In 2010, the Moroccan government decided to double the national production of wind power by adding an additional 1000 MW (megawatts) by 2020. 40% of this additional capacity, 400 MW, will be installed in Western Sahara, They said.

 

In a report published at the beginning of the month, Western sahara resource watch (WSRW) details how Morocco plans to build renewable energy plants in Western Sahara for more than 1000 MW.

 

If the projects are ecological, WSRW is worried that these projects will reinforce the Moroccan occupation and severely hurt the Saharawi population.

 

"By exporting energy to the EU and Morocco, the occupying power is trying to legitimize its indefensible claim to the territory," she added. SPS

 

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