COP28: King Mohammed VI pleads for a pact for action to address climate challenges

COP28: King Mohammed VI pleads for a pact for action to address climate challenges

King Mohammed VI has addressed a message to the World Climate Action Summit, held as part of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) being held in Dubai, United Arab Emiraters, wherin he pleads for a pact for action to address the climate challenges.


Here follows the full text of the Royal Speech.


“Praise be to God,

May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Mr. Chairman, my dear brother, Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyane,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,

Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization,

Honorable Leaders of International and Regional Organizations,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I should like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyane, and to the United Arab Emirates, for the excellent organization of this high-level event, and for the commitment shown by the Chair to ensure the success of COP 28.


Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The conclusions of the First Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement attest to a universal momentum around the climate issue. Nevertheless, adaptation efforts remain fragmented, incremental and unevenly distributed across regions, particularly those most vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change.

Half-measures cannot be bold measures. Similarly, a partial vision only exacerbates risks, adds to the damage and increases material, natural and human losses. Global management of the climate crisis can only proceed from an approach that is better suited to national constraints, that focuses on sustainable qualitative growth and that is, above all, rooted in a humanist vision.

Just as climate change is inexorably accelerating, the Conferences of the Parties must – starting here and now – move away from the logic of “small steps” which has characterized COPs for far too long. I understand that such an empirical approach was necessary when people had to be convinced of the relevance of climate action, not to say the very existence of climate change. Today, however, this technical approach complicates the terms of engagement and reduces the tackling of the climate predicament to a circle of pundits, at a time when it should be a challenge that concerns all mankind.

In other words, there is a gap between “small steps” on the one hand, and the looming climate challenges that need to be addressed immediately, on the other. Just as we need to believe in climate action, we also have to be convinced that between those who resign themselves to “small steps” and those who believe wholeheartedly in “big breaks” – driven by ideology and dogma – there is a course of action between the two one that is rooted in pragmatism, of course, but also characterized by voluntarism, ambition and vision. That is the plan we must embrace, if our goal is still to live up to the commitments made at COP 21 in Paris, in 2015, and COP 22 in Marrakesh, in 2016.

However necessary they may be, climate negotiations are not – and must not become – an end in themselves. There is a time for negotiation and a time for action. And the time for action is now! I propose that we adopt a Pact for Action, here and now. Thanks to this Pact for Action, humanity can show – through deeds – that the most ambitious goals are not necessarily the least attainable ones.

Morocco’s inherent conviction in this regard – as shown by a pioneering commitment to climate action – is reflected in a number of strategic and political levers, including an enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution in 2021. Our New Development Model was designed with sustainability in mind. Similarly, our National Strategy for Sustainable Development was devised and is being implemented with a view to achieving a high inclusion rate.

In Morocco, the boom in renewable, sustainable energy, the development of competitive green hydrogen sectors, our growing connectivity with global markets, and the 2023 football World Cup, to be hosted by two continents, attest to the vision we have of regional integration.

That is the action-oriented approach we have advocated at home, in the Kingdom of Morocco. Our ambition manifests itself in concrete, precise sectoral actions. It is expressed through detailed, verifiable Action Plans for adaptation, mitigation and decarbonization.

Ambitious as they may be, our stated objectives are never just a whim or an international publicity stunt. On the contrary, they are the result of programs and projects carried out at national level, first and foremost for us, and by us. I personally attach the greatest importance to their implementation and follow-up.


Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

In a global system that remains inequitable, Africa received USD 30 billion in annual climate financing flows in 2020, representing less than 12% of its needs. Penalized and disadvantaged, Africa has, nonetheless, all the assets needed to become the solution to the global climate issue – the answer to the major challenges of the 21st century. The lack of active solidarity is considerably slowing down the momentum of Africa’s climate action.

The IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings held in Marrakesh concluded that there was a pressing need to reform multilateralism and development financing, two levers humanity came up with to meet the challenges of the 20th century – two levers in which we believe. It is that conviction which is motivating my country as President of the United Nations Environment Assembly.

True to its commitment to Africa, Morocco is tirelessly pressing ahead with its efforts to implement the decisions of the First Africa Action Summit, held on the sidelines of COP 22, especially the operationalization of the three African Climate Commissions for the Congo Basin, the Sahel and African Island States.

The Kingdom’s effective involvement in innovative, rallying regional initiatives aimed at better adaptation of African agriculture, strengthening sustainability, stability and security on the Continent, and encouraging the climate leadership of young Africans, reflect Morocco’s multidimensional and unwavering support for the tireless efforts African sister countries are making.

If solidarity and suitability are principles of international climate action, we must guard against punishing success.

I am thinking, in particular, of the situation of middle-income countries, which are leading the battle for socio-economic development as well as for sustainable development. For these countries – including my own, the Kingdom of Morocco – I call for specific, more sustained attention on the part of the international community.

This would only be fair. Indeed, it would only be fair that middle-income countries are not penalized for the progress they make. We should not ask them to do more and at the same time restrict their access to the resources required for development. Quite the opposite, I think there can be no better climate “success stories” to champion and reward than those of middle-income countries.


Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Conflicting interests – with, at times, populist overtones – which favor short-term results are eroding credible multilateral action and jeopardizing the future of upcoming generations.

I reiterate the hope that the States Parties will be more ambitious, and that, together, we will find collective solutions to this common challenge.

With that in mind, I would like to reaffirm Morocco’s commitment to pursuing its proactive action in order to remain at the forefront of not just advocacy, but also solutions aimed at safeguarding the future of humanity on our planet.

Thank you.



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