Huge resources needed to mitigate against climate change effects

18 Mar, 2022 - 00:03 0 Views
Huge resources needed to mitigate against climate change effects Minister Ndlovu

The Herald

Michael Tome-Business Reporter

Climate finance and large-scale investments in green energy are required to significantly reduce emissions and enhance the climate change mitigation agenda in the country, Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said yesterday.

Minister Ndlovu who is also Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, said this while officiating at the Financing Climate Change Adaptation Conference held by the Business Weekly in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accounts Zimbabwe (ICAZ) and Financial Markets Indaba in Harare.

He said that climate action was a national priority and the Government intended to proffer solutions through enhancing renewable energy efficiency, climate-smart agriculture for food security and sustainable agriculture. Significant funding was needed for the country to adjust and reduce the impact of the adverse effects of climate change.

The high cost of capital equipment to have decent hydro and solar power generation plants has remained a major barrier in the establishment and provision of renewable energy in the country.

The conference, which sought to stimulate the climate financing agenda by the government and the private sector, came a few months after the United Nations Framework on Climate Change’s (UNFCC) 26th Conference of Parties (COP 26) held in Glasgow Scotland in November last year.

President Mnangagwa attended COP 26.

Zimbabwe finds itself in a catch 22 as it largely reliant on thermal power (coal) which is a major contributor to greenhouse gases emissions, hence requires a multi-stakeholder approach to attain pro-green mechanisms.

During Cop 26 held last year Zimbabwe is one of the countries that made pleas by highlighting that coal use was still unavoidable in the country given the limited and dwindling water for hydroelectricity generation and the current state of dependency on thermal power.

Critically, Zimbabwe has set its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per capita to 40 percent up from 33 percent in 2015.

Minister Ndlovu acknowledged that Zimbabwe still had a long way to go towards attaining optimum levels of climate change mainstreaming due to funding whose source was mainly by donors, thus calling on local entities to invest in climate adaptation initiatives.

“Let me emphasise that it is not enough to solely rely on international climate finance, there is also a need to tap into national resources through innovative financial facilities and leverage the private sector to take the lead in addressing climate change. Therefore, let us take advantage of this conference to explore how we can mobilise domestic finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said Minister Ndlovu.

He acknowledged that the country’s economy performs well when enough rains are realised hence needs to come up with measures that guarantee constantly good agriculture yields, further lauding the treasury for allocating funds towards climate adaptation. 

“While our economy takes a knock during drought years, we need to appropriately recalibrate our sectorial policies to have a climate agenda. In 2021 our economy grew by more than 7 percent on the back of a good above normal rainfall season.”

“It is therefore critical that we upscale investments in rainwater harvesting, supplementary irrigation adoption of drought-tolerant crop varieties, and adoption of viable business models to sustain agricultural production through value addition, market development, and consolidation.

“We applaud the treasury for allocating an estimated $54 billion towards climate change-related projects across all ministries in the 2022 budget pronouncement,” he added.

To help in financial resource mobilization, Minister Ndlovu indicated that his ministry has pushed for the accreditation of the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

According to Minister Ndlovu, Government through was working on National Adaptation Plan (NAP)with help from the Green Climate Fund National Adaptation Planning Facility, which thrives to reduce the country’s vulnerability to climate hazards as well as increase Zimbabwe’s resilience given the challenges that come with climate change.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of Parties 2021 deliberated on issues that intended to attain global net-zero emissions consensus by midcentury, which entailed keeping temperature goal not exceeding 1, 5 degrees Celsius, a temperature range which is considered pre-industrial levels.

It also intended to mobilise a climate financing fund of up to US$100 billion per year for access by developing country parties.

The meeting was attended by private sector players, while thought-provoking conversations were initiated by renowned experts in the field of climate change adaptation who include Benson Munyaradzi, Victor Utedzi, Owen Mavengere, Maxwell Chikumbutso, Tawanda Muzamwese, Rodney Ndamba, Dr Alfred Mthimkhulu, Welcome Mavingire, Rufaro Matsika and Lesley Ndlovu.

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