Zimbabwe: Climate Change Sector Needs Bankable Projects

22 October 2020

Stakeholders in the climate change sector have been encouraged to develop bankable projects as a way of unlocking climate finance for its compatible development.

Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Permanent Secretary, Mr Munesushe Munodawafa, said this recently in the speech read on his behalf by the director of Climate Change Management Department Mr Washington Zhakata during the Climate Finance Tracking workshop held in Nyanga.

The workshop largely sought to gather information on efforts of climate finance tracking in Zimbabwe as well as to establish a roadmap towards the development of a Climate Finance Tracking tool to deliver national and international climate finance more effectively in support of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) implementation.

NDCs are country's commitments to mitigate climate change which should be achieved by 2030 under the Paris Agreement.

The agreement makes provisions to track collective progress in making these mitigation and adaptation contributions through the Transparency Framework, Compliance Framework and the Global Stock Take which will starts from 2023 and every 5 years thereafter.

There is a massive demand for climate-related finance in Zimbabwe, which will help the country to mitigate against the impact of climate on the poor.

According to Green Climate Fund, money is available, but most developing countries are failing to tap on the funds mainly because many of the projects are not bankable.

In addition, they cannot get off the ground because of poor and lack of expertise to develop proposals and coordinate the mobilisation of resources by most developing countries.

The term bankability typically refers to projects that have a return on investment or positive Net Present Value (NPV).

Mr Munodawafa said when mainstreaming climate change, stakeholders have to build national capacities which will develop bankable projects.

"It is envisaged that as we mainstream climate change into relevant development frameworks, capacity to develop bankable projects for accessing the much need climate finance will be enhanced.

"Which in the future will be conditional to the country having systems in place to effectively track and utilise the resources towards economy wide climate action," he said.

Mr Munodawafa said the country has to enhance its capacity to mobilise the necessary funding for NDC mitigation contributions.

"One of the aims of the recent global climate governance framework -- the Paris Agreement is to make financial flows consistent with low carbon and climate resilience development pathways.

"This entails that countries must be able to track their climate finance flows and commitments towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.

"This is part of compliance measures for countries to the multilateral climate finance facilities to which Zimbabwe is party to. Over the years, Zimbabwe has cumulatively accessed over US$60 million from the Green Climate Fund towards creating the enabling environment and fostering climate resilience of vulnerable districts in the country," Mr Munodawafa said.

He said it was important for the country to develop and adopt a strong national climate finance tracking system.

"Progress has been made through the Conference of Parties to compel developed country parties to contribute towards multilateral climate funds such as the GCF to support developing countries' climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives. Developing countries also have a responsibility to monitor, review and report how they use the means of implementation thereof.

"The Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement requires all parties to the Paris Agreement to report, in a transparent manner, on their implementation of adaptation and mitigation interventions.

"Furthermore, the Transparency Framework requires parties to report transparently on the means of implementation including finance received hence the importance to develop and adopt a robust national climate finance tracking system."

He chronicled that the envisaged climate finance tracking system is expected to effectively track public expenditure, donor and development partner funding towards building resilience and developing in a low carbon trajectory.

"An effective climate finance tracking system will go a long way in framing the country's climate action towards ultimately allocation resources where they will be required the most, given that the impacts of climate change will worsen in the near term.

"The idea is not to re-invent the wheel but to build on the work that has been done through Treasury efforts on the Development Projects Management Information System (DEVPROMIS) a tool for tracking aid information and public investment. Over the next two days we aim to further understand the DEVPROMIS and explore synergies with the proposed climate finance tracking tool."

The workshop also tackled some of the complexities which include challenges associated with making bankable adaptation project proposals, cumbersome application processes and procedures, demanding fiduciary requirements, and limited information about existing resources.

The workshop was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Power Development, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Local Government, and Tertiary Institutions such as the University of Zimbabwe.

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