By Tendai Guvamombe (Harare)

Zimbabwe’s Climate Change mainstreaming drive  has reached a new level, as players in the private sector are now taking centre stage in scaling-up matters that speaks to climate financing in the context of accelerating green growth for the nation.

Consultants, climate change technical experts, government officials and youths battled out for high level panel discussions with hitted debates during the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Financing Conference held in Harare on the 16th of March 2021.

The pertinent issues that emerged out of the conference pointed towards Zimbabwe’s capacity to achieve its Climate Change goals following the successful launch and presentation of the Economy-Wide Nationally Determined Contributions on Climate Change (NDC) during Conference of Parties(COP26) in Glasgow.

The discussions went a long way in touching on the existing pathways to accelerate green growth investments for the country such as the Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS), a famous document that reveals possible local actions viable to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector.

However, a more contentious issue pointed towards the implementation of Zimbabwe’s NDC where climate change priority areas now require funding mechanisms to strike a balance in Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Change Adaptation.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu hailed the private sector saying the engagement comes as a clear testimony of a successful climate change mainstreaming drive by his ministry.

“This is the first time I have seen us as a Ministry being invited by the private sector to attend a conference on Climate Change. We are used to a scenario where us as a Ministry we invite stakeholders to attend attend conferences of this nature. Today it is a different case as this engagement marks the first Climate Change Conference to be held by private players. This shows that Climate Change mainstreaming is achieving a lot.”

The engagement was also attended by the entirety of climate change technical crew in the Climate Change Management Department (CCMD) in the same Ministry.

Some of the stakeholders that spearheaded fruitful discussions include representatives from UNDP, Business Council for Sustainability in Zimbabwe (BCSZ), ZIMPAPERS and Green Building Council (GBC) among others.