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Q&A: MARRAKESH CLIMATE CHANGE HERO

With the Virgin Racing team in Marrakesh, we took time out to catch up with climate change advocate Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu to get his thoughts on how Morocco is playing its part in the Race Against Climate Change…

Marrakesh

Tell us about yourself and your role at the organisation?
I sit on the Board of the Green Climate Fund and on the Governing Board of the African Risk Capacity Agency. As a delegate of the Democratic Republic of Congo, I have attended all the UN Climate Conferences since 2007. I have served as Chair of the African Group of Negotiators and as Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group. I coordinate the Least Developed Countries Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development.

Tell us more about some of the key climate change issues and the causes Morocco is facing?
Climate change is a global issue that requires a global solution. In Morocco and other African countries, the stakes are particularly high; an average of 2 degrees Celsius of warming globally will produce 3 degrees Celsius of warming in Africa, which would be devastating for households and communities across the continent. How we will tackle climate change effectively and fairly is a question we must urgently answer.

What are some of the carbon reduction schemes currently in place or planned for Morocco?
Morocco is a leader in renewable energy and other carbon reduction schemes, with vast solar energy resources. Empowering other countries to harness the energy of the sun, wind and water will not only ensure a greener planet but help lift millions of people out of poverty.

How do you think Formula E is helping bring climate change to the attention of the people of Morocco?
Formula E can be a catalyst for raising awareness about climate change and pave the way to new innovations in the electric vehicle industry. Formula E is also helping to change the perception of electric vehicles through demonstrating their potential to perform just as well, and better, than conventional combustion engines.

How did last year’s COP event help Morocco in terms of sustainability?
COP22 in Morocco was an exciting opportunity to cement the global commitment laid down in the Paris Climate Accord and continue the momentum towards greater climate action. We saw some important advances in Morocco in terms of sustainability, with the launch of the Marrakech Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to support the advancement of important initiatives, such as the Least Developed Countries Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative. This is an example of concrete outcomes from the international negotiations process that we must continue to accelerate.

Virgin Racing recently unveiled its Race Against Climate Scheme in conjunction with Sir Richard Branson – how important are schemes like this in raising awareness to everyday people?
Initiatives such as Race Against Climate Scheme are vital to continuing the momentum of the Paris Climate Accord through raising awareness of everyday people and pushing for greater political will to stop climate change in its tracks. It is important to advance initiatives that leverage concrete and ambitious actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions and respond to the impacts of climate change.

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