April 06 2016 Fatou Ndiyae
Sustainable Development

Business Aspects of the COP22

Morocco will be hosting the 22nd edition of the Conference of the Parties on November 2016, an event considered as the most important rendez-vous on climate change effects.

This event comes at a time when the country is embarking on ambitious projects related to the fight against climate change:

  • Morocco is expecting to raise its share of renewable power energies to 52%[1] by 2030
  • The country is also willing to reduce its greenhouse gases emissions by 32%[2]  by 2030
  • The “Noor” project’s solar power plant, considered one of the world’s biggest, is being built with a capacity of 580 MW[3] by 2018

Besides the environmental considerations, the organization of the Conference of Parties implies some financial matters.

Opportunities for the private sector

Currently, the most important contract for the COP22 is related to the event’s organization: preparation and management of the site (the Bab Ighli area in Marrakech). The tender’s value is estimated at € 64million (MAD 700 million[4]).

Three criteria[5] were retained for companies willing to submit their bids:

1 – Average turnover of MAD 500 million during the last 3 years

2 – Organization of at least 2 events on behalf of the United Nations Organization (similar to the COP in terms of size)

3 – Completion of at least one civil engineering project during the last five years

To overcome the constraints related to turnover and experience capitalized in the organization of such events, local players partnered with international ones.

Partnerships between Moroccan and international event agencies

Three groups formed by Moroccan companies and international event agencies were shortlisted[6]:

  • Capital Events (a Moroccan events management agency), GL Events (a Euronext-listed company, organizer of the previous COP in Paris and Lima), Agence Publics (a France-based communication and event agency), etc.
  • Groupement MaroCop: Richard Attias & Associates (New York-based consulting firm), Alomra Group International (Moroccan company in business risk management), the Moroccan architect My Abdelouahed, Derichebourg Maroc (Facility management company), Maroc Telecom, Valyans Consulting, etc.
  • La Nouvelle Avant-Scène (Moroccan event communication agency), Finatech Group (a subsidiary of the Moroccan holding company Financecom), URBAGEC (Moroccan company operating in the civil engineering sector), etc.

Some other well-known business owners like Vincent Bolloré (through his event company, Havas Event) has initially shown his willingness to be among the bidders.

Besides, the British public relations company Henley Media Group is also willing to be in charge of the organization of the Sustainable Innovation Forum, an important business-focused event held alongside the COP meeting. The 6th Sustainable Innovation Forum during the COP21 was organized by the same media group.

A subsidiary of Henley Media, Green Media Ltd has already booked the domain name “cop22marrakech.org”. Green Media’s core business is to provide business insights to its clients and establish partnerships between the private sector, governments and NGOs involved in sustainable development and “green economy”.  The organization was in charge of the public relations of the COP21.

Other contracts related to the COP22

  • The technical control of the site’s construction (Socotec Maroc and Bureau Veritas Maroc have been shortlisted), the accommodation and transportation services
  • Projects in Marrakech: to be in the spirit of the event, some projects are initiated
    • Introduction of electrical buses powered by solar energy: the project’s cost is estimated at MAD 200 million
    • Set up of a recycling plant: for an approximate cost of MAD 100 million
    • A MAD 70 million-contract[7] for the installation of green lighting solutions

In a world where economies need to distinguish themselves in order to be more competitive, Morocco can develop expertise and an edge on the whole ecosystem related to renewable energies. By doing so, the country will be able to play an important role in the “Environmental diplomacy” domain.

Fatou, Analyst at Infomineo. Know more about Fatou.

[1] Usine Nouvelle – http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/climat-le-maroc-se-met-en-ordre-de-marche-pour-la-cop-22-de-marrakech-en-novembre.N378986

[2] Jeune Afrique – http://www.jeuneafrique.com/284667/societe/maroc-hakima-el-haite-cop22-faut-deja-reussir-cop21/

[3] Noor Ouarzazate – http://noorouarzazate.com/

[4] Huffington Post Maghreb – http://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/2016/03/15/cop22-maroc_n_9470796.html

[5] L’Economiste – http://www.leconomiste.com/article/984730-plus-gros-que-le-gatt-le-cahier-des-charges-de-la-cop22

[6] At the moment when the article is written, the name of the group to organize the event is not disclosed yet.

[7] L’Economiste – http://www.leconomiste.com/article/985009-comment-marrakech-se-prepare-la-cop22

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