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Morocco/Western Sahara: wind energy companies in Western Sahara


Morocco has been encouraging the building of wind energy projects in the Western Sahara. These projects have raised several controversies with some Sahrawi people who complain that they have not been properly consulted and that these projects deepen the occupation of Western Sahara and contribute to the plundering of resources.

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27 November 2016

Morocco/Western Sahara: Refugees protest against Siemens and Enel for use of Sahrawi land without local consent

Author: Western Sahara Resource Watch

Here are the people Siemens doesn't bother to talk to, 6 November 2016

[On 6 November 2016], refugees from Western Sahara organised a demonstration against the energy companies Siemens and Enel. The two companies refuse to follow UN demands of seeking Saharawi consent as they are building windmills for Morocco on their occupied homeland … The two companies [...] are winning tenders for energy production in the occupied territory, in partnership with a company of the Moroccan king, Nareva…  

Western Sahara Resource Watch (“WSRW”) has for several years tried to get answers from Siemens on what it has done to seek the consent of the Saharawis, but the company fails to respond… Siemens windmills alone supply 95% of the energy required by Morocco to plunder the non-renewable mineral resources of the land, according to a new WSRW report

The demonstration [, which took place in the Smara camp, called] on all attendees of COP22 climate talks in Marrakech these weeks to take the opportunity "to learn about the injustice committed by the Moroccan government" against the Sahrawis both in the past as well as regarding the current "sustainable" energy projects, which are seen by many as cementing the occupation. 

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Siemens and Enel to respond. Siemens indicated they will be sending a response. Enel has not yet responded. We will indicate whether they respond on this page.]

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28 November 2016

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

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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