Mosque silhouette

In the North African kingdom of Morocco, religion and technology are joining forces on a project that will reduce global-warming pollution.

The goal is to retrofit 600 mosques so they use more clean energy and become more energy efficient.

Kuntze: “The project aims to equip mosques with mainly three technologies: with LED lighting, with solar water heaters, and with photovoltaic panels.”

That’s Jan-Christoph Kuntze, principal technical advisor for the project. He says the benefits go beyond reducing pollution. In fact, the effort was developed to increase public awareness of energy efficiency and to create jobs in Morocco.

The project is already creating jobs in engineering, manufacturing, and in new fields such as energy auditing.

Retrofitting any public buildings would have provided the same benefits. But Kuntze says the team deliberately chose to start with mosques.

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Kuntze: “Mosques play a quite central role in the social lives of many Moroccan people.”

The idea is that when the Moroccan people see the benefits, they will be inspired to invest in the same solutions for their own homes and businesses — creating even larger environmental and economic benefits.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...