Why Morocco is leading the charge against climate change

Story highlights

  • Morocco plans to run off 52% green energy by 2030
  • The country enshrined sustainability in its constitution in 2011

Marrakech, Morocco (CNN)Renewable energy is taking off in Morocco.

In 2014 the country opened the largest wind farm in Africa, valued at $1.4 billion, in the southwest near the city of Tarfaya. Then, in early 2016, it switched on the first facility of the world's largest concentrated solar plant, Noor-1, on the fringe of the Sahara desert. When completed in 2018, it will power one million homes and make Morocco a solar superpower.
    And while the country is still heavily reliant on energy imports (90 percent in 2013, according to the World Bank), it plans to generate 40 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020.
      Following this road has led to Morocco hosting the UN's 2016 summit on climate change, COP22, in Marrakech. So what lies ahead?

      Cutting the energy bill

      Morocco ranks seventh in the world in the 2016 Climate Change Performance Index, and is the only non-European country in the top 20.
      It's also one of only five countries to have achieved a "sufficient" rating for its efforts to keep warming below 2°C in the Climate Action Tracker (no country has achieved the "role model" rating as of yet, so "sufficient" is currently the best grade).