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From Milan to Glasgow, young Moroccans commit to fighting climate change

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                                It is young people who can tip the scales to the right side in the fight against climate change
                            
                            
                                                
                            
                                                            NEW YORK, United States of America, January 22, 2022/APO Group/ --
                                                        
                            A new way to recycle large amounts of ground coffee;  a platform connecting young African activists;  technology to produce electricity from ocean waves or recycle plastic.  A new energy-efficient construction method: an innovative car-sharing application. 



Behind all these initiatives are the young men and women featured in
From Milan to Glasgow, young Moroccans commit to fighting climate change

It is young people who can tip the scales to the right side in the fight against climate change

NEW YORK, United States of America, January 22, 2022/APO Group/ —

A new way to recycle large amounts of ground coffee; a platform connecting young African activists; technology to produce electricity from ocean waves or recycle plastic. A new energy-efficient construction method: an innovative car-sharing application.

Behind all these initiatives are the young men and women featured in “From Milan to Glasgow: Moroccan Youth Leaders in the Spotlight”, a new campaign launched by the UN Country Team in Morocco to empower young people to to take climate action and reduce harmful carbon emissions that are dangerously warming the planet.

For the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Morocco, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, the new campaign is a “bet on the importance of associating with Moroccan youth committed to climate issues.”

tipping the scales

One of the prominent activists is Manal Bidar, an 18-year-old from the city of Agadir, who believes that “it is the youth who can tip the balance to the right side in the fight against climate change.”

He first became involved in climate and environmental action at the age of 13, when he joined a group of friends from a local club to clean up a beach.

She is now an ambassador for the African Youth Climate Hub, a platform that brings together activists from the continent, and serves as an advisor to the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting climate resilience around the world. world.

‘The fight of our lives’

Like Ms. Bidar, Hasnae Bakhchouch, a 22-year-old student from Rabat, is taking action to address the impact of climate change.

“With its adverse effects on biodiversity and the health of living beings, climate change puts societies at risk and can cause conflicts over access to natural resources,” he says.

Ms. Bakhchouch was the National Coordinator of the Moroccan youth delegation at the United Nations Youth Climate Conference, held in September 2021 in Milan, Italy.

She explains that the goal was to draft recommendations for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which was held in Glasgow, Scotland, a couple of months later.

The conference closed with a “compromise” agreement, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said was simply “not enough.”

At that time, the UN chief encouraged the youth and all those leading the charge to keep fighting.

“We are in the fight of our lives, and this fight must be won,” he said.

From coffee to bricks

While enjoying a cup of coffee one day, Hamza Laalej, a 23-year-old Moroccan student from Meknes, wondered if there was a way to recycle the large amount of coffee grounds that end up in the trash every day.

Months later, Mr. Laalej managed to turn his idea into a viable green business, where one of the main products is an ecological brick made from a mixture of ground coffee and normal clay.

“Inspired by the Moroccan artisan tradition, the production of these bricks is based on [using less] heating, thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he explains.

Since then, he has teamed up with Nour El Houda Ben Khoudja, a 23-year-old Moroccan, to launch a company that specializes in collecting, sorting and transforming coffee grounds into construction materials and decoration products.

“You don’t have to wait for the perfect time to start [a green business]. It is the obstacles that you encounter along the way that make starting a business an inspiring and fruitful adventure,” he says.

green entrepreneurs

In a round table organized last November, during the launch of this UN campaign, other young people presented their green business projects.

Oussama Nour and Mohamed Taha El Ouaryachi, for example, presented WAVEBEAT, a company that aims to produce electricity from ocean waves.

The objective is to provide companies operating in the Moroccan port of Tanger Med with a renewable alternative to cover their energy needs.

Younes Ouazri presented an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly construction method for building homes, including seasonal residences and resorts, using locally sourced materials.

Hicham Zouaoui and Otman Harrak discussed their car sharing application, which currently allows some 400,000 Moroccans to travel throughout the Kingdom, helping save on transport costs and reducing CO2 emissions.

For his part, Seifeddin Laalej heads a start-up specialized in recycling plastic waste to make construction materials, which he sells throughout the country.

“It is important that young people believe in their potential and launch their own projects based on their skills and professional networks,” he said.

a key player

According to the UN Resident Coordinator, “thanks to its climate policy in recent years, Morocco has become a key leader in initiatives for climate action.”

Through an ambitious program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for the preservation of natural resources, Morocco intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45.5 percent by 2030 and achieve a 52 percent share of renewable energy in its energy mix in the same year.

The country is currently one of the few nations with a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in line with the global 1.5°C target.

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