Zimbabwe approves a bill to control emissions of greenhouse gases.

– earnings from the sale of carbon credits, the fiscus, and multilateral climate finance instruments like the Green Climate Fund, will be used to fund the National Climate Fund.

John Cassim

Harare, Zimbabwe – The Climate Change Management Bill, which will regulate greenhouse gas emissions, was approved by the Zimbabwean government during its cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 28 November.

Along with facilitating carbon trading and low-carbon development technologies, the bill will also implement steps to lessen the usage of ozone-depleting compounds.

By incorporating climate change adaptation and mitigation measures into development planning and budgeting procedures, the bill represents a clear national response to climate change. 

“The proposed Bill will create obligations for the public and private sector stakeholders to collect, archive and share activity data that is utilised in the compilation of national greenhouse gas inventories, climate risk and vulnerability impacts. 

The Bill will also provide for the establishment of the Designated National Authority (DNA) and the National Climate Fund to support the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions provided for in the National Climate Policy,” Zimbabwean Minister of Information, Dr Jenfan Muswere said during the post Cabinet media briefing, in the capital Harare. 

A portion of the earnings from the sale of carbon credits, the fiscus, and multilateral climate finance instruments like the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund, among others, will be used to fund the National Climate Fund.

In an attempt to control the carbon trading industry, the Zimbabwean government introduced a Statutory Instrument (SI 150 of 2023) in August of this year.

A month later, a change was made that resulted in SI 158 of 2023, which permits developers to retain 70% of the earnings instead of the 50% that was originally set forth when a new carbon trading regime was implemented in May.

Thirty percent will be retained by the state and will go towards investments in climate change adaptation, the Treasury, and relevant local authorities.

The modification that was gazetted on September 26 states that developers will no longer be obligated to provide local communities a quarter of their 70% profit share.

Zimbabwe lacked legislation governing the carbon offset industry until May of this year, when an abrupt statement disrupted the US$2 billion global carbon market and terminated all carbon credit trading agreements.

 In line with the announcement, local investors were to hold at least 20% of project proceeds, with the government receiving 50% of the total.

This raised questions about how unpredictable the mainly unregulated sector is, given how quickly laws can changed overnight.

As of right now, Zimbabwe ranks third on the continent in terms of carbon credit production, contributing roughly an eighth of production.

A tonne of carbon dioxide or its equivalent that has been either eliminated from the atmosphere or kept from ever entering it is represented as one carbon credit.

Cabinet advises that in the meanwhile, the proposed Bill aims to be in line with Zimbabwe’s Constitution, Section 73, which guarantees environmental rights and underlines the necessity of protecting the environment through legislation and other means for both the current and future generations.

The Bill aims to establish and operationalize a domestic mechanism for Measurement, Reporting, and Verification in compliance with the Paris Agreement and Montreal Protocol obligations on emissions reporting. 

This will allow the country to report to the Conference of Parties (COP) on the level of emissions by which compliance to those agreements will be measured.

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