Ms Benomar is at the forefront of promoting renewable energy in Morocco
What constituency do you represent?
My constituency is in Meknes, the largest region in Morocco. And I’m a member of the Authentic & Modern party. We are social democrats. It’s a diverse constituency; there are arid areas, forest areas and agricultural areas with lots of fertile land. There are environmental problems, for example there’s lots of deforestation. The climate is also changing. We used to have four seasons. Now we just have two, winter and summer.
Why did you decide to become an MP?
I used to be a Spanish teacher before I was elected to parliament in 2011. I have always been a fighter for human rights, women’s rights and disabled people’s rights. I have always worked at the base level, with communities. I realised that we used to work really hard for small changes. But being part of a political party, you have the potential to change more and have a bigger impact.
Why do you care about climate change?
It’s a very current problem. It affects everything in our daily lives as well as our country’s economy. And it particularly affects women and children. If there is no water then girls don’t go to school, they look for water. If there is no light, children cannot study.
How long have you been a member of the Climate Parliament group?
I’ve only been a member since October 2013 when I was invited to a meeting by UNDP, but it feels like much longer! It was a discovery. I was always aware of these issues but now I have found a home to take action from.
How does the Climate Parliament group work in the Moroccan Parliament?
There are eleven of us and we are a hard working group. We come from all different parties but we are used to working with each other on issues. We are going to start having regular meetings. At the moment we are working on lifting import taxes on renewable technologies to encourage investment. We also plan on dong more government oversight to really follow what they are doing in terms of renewable energy.
Do you think we are going to solve climate change?
We have an obligation to do so; if we don’t find and implement solutions it will be a catastrophe. I am the mother of two boys but I have a responsibility to all of Morocco’s children. You always want better for your children but with climate change we are risking that.