Zimbabwe: Zim Paces Up Carbon Emissions Cuts

14 October 2021

As world leaders including President Mnangagwa prepare to converge in Glasgow, Scotland, for the Conference of Parties (COP26) on curbing carbon emissions, Zimbabwe is turning promises into action looking for a start at major gains in energy efficiency.

Despite having to expand the economy several fold as the country moves towards its goal of a decent life for all, Zimbabwe has also committed itself to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2050. This requires making far better use of energy as well as using far more non-carbon energy sources, and this requires for many technical assistance.

Zimbabwe has now implemented an initial small-scale project on the use of energy in the manufacturing sector and efficient use of water in selected sectors, the Director of the Climate Change Management Department, Mr Washington Zhakata, said in emailed responses to Herald questions.

"In order to prepare industry to start implementing programmes aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, Zimbabwe implemented a technical assistance project for piloting rapid uptake of industrial energy efficiency and efficient water utilisation in selected sectors," he said.

"The project aimed at facilitating technical assistance for piloting rapid uptake of industrial energy efficiency and efficient water utilisation in Zimbabwe.

"In carrying out the project, the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) technical assistance promoted energy efficient technologies and renewable energy for productive uses at industry level as well as strengthening capabilities for measuring and benchmarking resource intensity."

In terms of water use, the technical assistance worked on the provision of solutions that promote water saving techniques, wastewater management, water recycling and water harvesting in order to minimise the water footprint of organisations.

The technical assistance is facilitated by the establishment of the Green Industry Networking Facility, which promotes cooperation, knowledge exchange and networking among the existing and potential case studies.

Mr Zhakata said the Government plans to use results of this technical assistance and pilot projects as a foundation for replication of the project in other industries as Zimbabwe implements the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

"Zimbabwe engaged the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG), a global initiative launched by Germany to support climate action in the nitric acid sector.

"Under the agreement between Sable Chemicals, the biggest fertiliser manufacturing company in Zimbabwe and NACAG, NACAG will provide technical assistance to Zimbabwe on regulating the sector and on questions regarding the use of abatement technology."

It is expected that the success of this project will result in substantial emission reductions in Zimbabwe.

NACAG is expected to provide over US$2 million dollars for technology changes towards emission reduction.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has pledged to support the implementation framework for the NDCs.

A Climate Change Bill to enforce implementation of the NDCs and other climate change actions is being developed. Recently, President Mnangagwa said if climate change continues at its present rate, thousands of Zimbabweans will lose jobs, homes or even their lives.

"The time for words is over -- we must act now," tweeted President Mnangagwa recently.

The COP26, which is meeting from October 31 to November 12, is the decision-making body responsible for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It brings together the 197 nations and territories -- called parties -- that have signed on to the Framework Convention.

All States that are parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements. A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by parties.

Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention.

Zimbabwe is a party to the UNFCCC and its attendant protocols namely the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

COP is a platform where countries can showcase their issues of concern with respect to climate change and mobilise resources for implementation of resilience projects and programmes.

This week, UN Secretary-General Mr António Guterres said COP26 was around the corner and the stakes are high.

"Without decisive action, we are gambling away our last chance to - literally - turn the tide. We need to end the war on our planet and ensure a green and resilient recovery," he said.

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