01 June 2012

UK aid to Morocco will fund electricity for Europe

Money taken from the UK aid budget is to be used by the World Bank to finance the Ouarzazate solar project, designed to prioritise export to Europe rather than to ensure that ordinary Moroccans can access affordable electricity.

The project is part funded the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund, which receives 14 per cent of its money - or £385 million – from the UK overseas aid budget.

Investment in renewable energy is essential to the fight against climate change. But measures to tackle climate change will only work if they also address poverty and inequality. By setting in place an export-led model that is likely to see electricity costs for the Moroccan people increase, and by asking the Moroccan government to subsidise the creation of a risky mega-project, Ouarzazate could make it more difficult for ordinary Moroccans to access electricity, especially in rural areas. And yet the project is being funded from the UK’s overseas aid project, the very purpose of which is to reduce poverty.

You can read this new report, published by the World Development Movement, by following this link.

It's the second in a series called Power to the People?, looking at the World Bank's Clean Tech Fund. The first report, on a wind project in Mexico, can be found here.

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