The two countries are presiding over the UN’s Group of Friends on Climate.
The Moroccan and French officials presided over the meeting in their capacity as co-chairs of the UN’s Group of Friends on Climate.
In his opening speech, Ambassador Hilale recalled that 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of the drafting of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
“The year 2020 is also the year when states must collectively demonstrate renewed motivation by presenting more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term climate strategies,” Hilale said.
In this regard, the Moroccan diplomat stressed that Morocco remains determined to actively participate in the global fight against climate change, despite the current difficult health and economic context.
“The Kingdom maintains its ambition for climate action, ensuring food security, and accelerating the energy transition,” he said.
According to Hilale, Morocco’s efforts are focused on rebuilding the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic in a more sustainable way.
The Moroccan ambassador also drew the participants’ attention to the disproportionately difficult climate change challenges in developing countries, most notably in Africa.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that developing countries are facing the worst climate repercussions, especially in the African continent,” he said.
As the world begins to plan for a recovery from the pandemic, the Group of Friends on Climate must urge governments to seize the opportunity for “rebuilding a better future” by creating “more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive societies,” Hilale continued.
Several presidents of former UN Climate Change Conferences (COP) attended the virtual meeting, in addition to Selwin Hart, the special advisor on climate action to the UN Secretary General.
President of COP21 in Paris Laurent Fabius reiterated Hilale’s calls, stressing that the year 2020 is decisive for the fight against climate change.
“Even if COP26 is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not mean that we must forget the objectives set for 2020,” he said.
While the main concern of governments today is the fight against the pandemic, climate change also remains a great threat, the French expert stressed, saying “there will be no vaccine against global warming, so we must refuse to separate action against the pandemic from action against global warming.”
Meanwhile, President of COP22 in Marrakech Salaheddine Mezouar highlighted the opportunities the current health crisis offers to “reshape the global economy into a green, fair, clean, and resilient economy.”
The Moroccan politician also warned that Africa remains the hardest-hit continent by the health crisis and its economic impact, which could lead into a humanitarian crisis.
Mezouar mentioned Morocco’s solidarity with African countries, saying international cooperation is key to overcoming global challenges.