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Morocco/Western Sahara: Report warns wind energy companies from engaging in projects in Western Sahara without consent of local communities

Author: Western Sahara Resource Watch, Published on: 28 November 2016

Report: COP22 controversy - Moroccan green energy used for plunder, 2 November 2016

An increasing part of the renewable energy programmes that Morocco is promoting – even on the official COP22 website – are not taking place in Morocco at all, but in Western Sahara, which it illegally and brutally occupies … 22 newly built mills by the German company Siemens supply 95% of the energy required for the highly controversial plunder of non-renewable minerals from [the El Aaiún in] Western Sahara … By 2020, more than a quarter of all Morocco’s green energy production will be located in the territory it holds under foreign occupation, [up from a current 7%,] a new WSRW report documents… [The Saharawi people, have never consented to the Moroccan projects].

Siemens and the Italian company Enel are those most heavily involved. They win Moroccan tenders in Western Sahara by partnering with the energy company owned by the king of Morocco ... “By exporting the energy to Morocco proper, the country and the royal family anchors its connection to the territory. Would the king be interested in a process of self-determination and decolonisation in Western Sahara when he, himself, is benefiting from the Moroccan army’s illegal presence there?” [stated  Erik Hagen of Western Sahara Resource Watch.]

[The report includes responses from Siemens and Enel. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Siemens, Enel, Alstom and Lahmeyer to respond. Siemens indicated they will be sending a response. Enel, Alstom have not yet responded. We will indicate whether they respond on this page.] 

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Related companies: Alstom Enel Lahmeyer Nareva (part of Société Nationale d’Investissement) Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) Siemens