Business Climate Development

Zimbabwe on right track towards tackling climate change

Mr. Washington Zhakata

By Anyway Yotamu.

Zimbabwe is on the right track to combating climate change by implementing agreements outlined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Addressing delegates at the two-day Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) communication strategy validation workshop in Harare, Director of Climate Change in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry,  Mr. Washington Zhakata told delegates that the country is very serious in tackling climate change.

“Globally, climate change and its accompanying challenges continue to obstruct human development. The impacts of climate change in Zimbabwe are threatening the country’s current and future developmental plans. Zimbabwe has not been spared from the negative impacts of climate change regardless of the strides made to address climate change for over three decades by the Government. Zimbabwe’s vulnerability to changes in the climate system is made worse by limited climate knowledge, limited methods of information dissemination among our citizens, and over-reliance on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture, forestry, and water resources”, said Mr. Zhakata.

The country is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement. The 19th COP meeting held in Warsaw, Poland in 2013 came up with decision 1/CP.19 which invited all parties to the UNFCCC to “initiate or intensify domestic preparations of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)” well in advance of the 21st COP held in Paris, France in 2015, in preparation for the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

“The Government of Zimbabwe communicated its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UNFCCC in 2015 including conditions such as the provision of financial and technical support for the implementation of mitigation actions. Zimbabwe’s INDC became a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) when the country signed and ratified the Paris Agreement. For your knowledge, Zimbabwe’s first NDCs are limited to climate change mitigation in the energy sector as well as adaptation in the agriculture sector. The emission reduction target for Zimbabwe as presented in the NDCs is to reduce per-capita energy-related emissions by 33% below the projected Business As Usual by 2030”, he said.

Mr. Zhakata further added that “As a country, we are bound by the Paris Agreement, with the Enhanced Transparency Framework of this Agreement aiming to scrutinize our activities with respect to emission reductions, including clarity and tracking of progress towards achieving NDCs. All countries by the end of this year, 2020, are expected to expand the scope of their emission reductions targets beyond the existing NDCs.

“Zimbabwe’s Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) (2020-2050) sets the course for reducing emissions, while at the same time ensuring sustainable economic development for the country. It is based on the government’s economic planning up to 2050 and covers mitigation measures in all Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sectors (Energy, Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU), Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), and Waste)”, he said.

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Zimbabwe is one of the countries making strides towards implementing Climate Change policy.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende