Climate Change in Zimbabwe: Towards a Low Carbon Energy Industry
Forthcoming in Climate Change Law in Zimbabwe: Concepts and Insights (Konrad Adenauer Foundation)
38 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2019 Last revised: 15 Jan 2020
Date Written: November 8, 2019
Zimbabwe is currently struggling with a persistent energy crisis that has been exacerbated by a drawn out economic meltdown. Unplanned electricity outages and scarcity of petroleum products are now the order of the day. Electricity shortages have been a perennial challenge for the whole region of Southern Africa since 2008. As far as petroleum products are concerned, the country has been battling for the past several years to fend off a virtual drying up of fuel stations and reserves. Bottlenecks in procurement, growing vehicular population, and state control of procurement have largely contributed to the shortages. With increasing pressure to take steps towards developing climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and plans, the country has to be strategic. Zimbabwe needs its forests to provide the sinks for greenhouse gases, while the majority of rural people rely on the forests for 94% of their energy needs. Most of its electricity is generated from coal and hydro power. This is a challenging context within which to reconcile climate change imperatives while guaranteeing energy security and expanding access. This chapter argues that any commitments to legally mandate domestic climate action should be considered against the backdrop of this social, economic, and cultural context – and not international trends per se. Laws to promote renewable energy in a low carbon economy must be developed and function in context.
Keywords: Climate change, Energy sustainability, Low carbon economy, Renewable energy, Sustainable development, Zimbabwe
JEL Classification: K30; K32; K33; Q42; Q48; Q54; O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation