As the stage is set for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in the UK which will be held from the end of October into November this year, each country that subscribes to the Paris Agreement of 2015 on Climate Change is mandated to set National Determined Contributors (NDC).
NDCs are an embodiment of efforts or targets set by each country to reduce national emissions of greenhouse gases and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Zimbabwe, which is a member state of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has set its targets which are mainly to shift from the traditional fossil fuel-based development to greener and sustainable pathways, including enhanced use of renewable energy, and the adoption of green industries and climate-smart agriculture.
Speaking during the post-cabinet briefing, Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe has developed proposals on costed economy-wide Low Emission Development Strategy as a response to the provisions of the Paris Agreement.
“It should be pointed out that the country has done a lot more in terms of carbon sinking through the various afforestation and reforestation programmes, conservation agriculture (Pfumvudza/Intwasa) and emitting less on its growth trajectory towards Vision 2030. The implementation of renewable energy projects in the country and use of more efficient low emission technologies in thermal power plants reflects Government’s commitment towards reduction in emissions,” she said.
However, Africa contributes to the least greenhouse gas emissions when compared to other continents but, remains the most vulnerable, hard-hit continent by the effects of gas emissions through climate change, global warming and natural disasters such as extreme weather events.
According to data on Worldometer, China, United States, India, Russia and Japan are the top contributors to emissions in that order. They collectively emit more than 58% of greenhouse emissions across the world.
“Implementation of the mitigation actions will result in a 40% reduction in emissions. Zimbabwe is currently emitting 0.05% of all greenhouse emissions which is lower than what the country is capturing,” further stated Minister Mutsvangwa.
The President, Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to attend the Conference of Parties (COP 26) meeting in the United Kingdom where he will lead a Zimbabwean delegation and present the country’s mitigation measures and adaptation actions.
The British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson congratulated the country ‘for setting out enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions which commit to a 40% per capita reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and mainstreaming of climate change adaptation across all sectors of the economy.’
On Wednesday she paid a courtesy call on the President ahead of his visit to the United Kingdom.
“We had a very constructive meeting with the President this afternoon. We talked about his upcoming visit to the UK in November for the Conference of Parties climate change talks which we are hosting as the UK,” said the ambassador. Due to climate change, Zimbabwe has been prone to droughts over the past decades, erratic rainfall patterns, localized floods, increased temperatures and agriculture deterioration since the economy is agro-based.