File: Climate change finances a major order for Zim
BY Melody Chikono
Increasing agricultural production over the years has been Zimbabwe’s direct route to food security, as most households depend on subsistence farming for their livelihoods.
The agricultural revolution involves the development of a robust sector with mechanisms to reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience of farmers and agricultural systems to the negative impacts of climate change.
Zimbabwe has made progress in increasing food production through various programs such as managed agriculture and the climate-proof farming method, Pfumvudza, which has helped farmers with inputs for farming.
The Pfumvudza program is based on the principles of conservation agriculture (CA) and contributes to some extent to climate-resilient production.
While these are laudable interventions, commodities have also fallen victim to the effects of climate change that has ravaged the world.
Smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are increasingly exposed to climate change related risks such as droughts, dry spells, delayed seasons, floods, hailstorms, pests, diseases and many more , increasing the need for climate change financing.
Zimbabwe’s National Climate Change Policy seeks to create a pathway to a climate-resilient, low-carbon development economy in which the population has sufficient adaptive capacity and continues to develop in harmony with the environment. ‘environment.
This is underpinned by the National Climate Change Response Strategy, National Adaptation Plan, Low Carbon Development Strategy, National Environmental Policy and Strategy Document as well as other strategic development policies including the Ramsar Convention.
The country’s National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) has prioritized climate action with specific strategies through the mainstreaming of climate change and related financing into all national programs, including strengthening climate change systems. early warning, promotion of climate-smart innovations and technology transfer.
It also aims to enhance capacity building and awareness on climate change adaptation and mitigation and improve weather radar seismology and weather station network, among other measures.
Zimbabwe is vulnerable to climate change due to its geographical location in the tropics so much so that if the agricultural sector sneezes, the economy catches a cold due to the strong vertical and backward linkages.
As a developing country, Zimbabwe is therefore experiencing the effects of climate change induced by industrialization.
Public spending on mitigation is low and, as is the case in many least developed countries, is skewed in favor of debt servicing, undermining climate finance.
A review study Relevant social sciences on understanding climate-smart agriculture and resilience of smallholder farmers in Umguza district, showed that climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices faced challenges highlighting the fact that the government lacked a clear and coordinated policy and funding for CSA.
Deliberations at Zimbabwe’s recent debt indaba exposed the gap between climate finance and agricultural efforts, with experts calling for climate change finance to be essential to combating and mitigating the effects of climate change .
However, for developing countries like Zimbabwe, this has been a daunting challenge.
Although there have been many options available for climate change financing, challenges such as debt financing have been a stumbling block for Zimbabwe.
Byron Zamasiya, head of climate change and energy governance, said this week that developing countries were spending five times more on debt service than on climate action and that figure should increase sevenfold. , creating more loans, interest charges and exacerbating the debt burden for developing countries.
Zamasiya gave a presentation on Climate Justice and Debt Sustainability: Leveraging Debt Sustainability to Strengthen Zimbabwe’s Response to Climate Change during the Zimbabwe Debt Indaba which just ended in the capital.
“Developed countries are asking for more funds for mitigation, while developing countries are asking for more funds for adaptation. But Africa only emits 7% of greenhouse gases (GHG). Does mitigation make sense? ” He asked.
“Developing countries should push for unconditional access to climate finance from bilateral and multilateral financial institutions (preference should be given to grants, not loans). The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change should promote debt swaps for developing countries, especially when they meet their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments.
“Developing countries endowed with transition minerals (such as lithium, copper, nickel and cobalt) should promote local value addition.”
Developed countries were aiming to raise US$100 billion for climate finance over the period 2016-2020 and the priority was on mitigation at a time when financiers favored loans over grants.
They were then supposed to write proposals and access that money for adaptation and mitigation.
For Zimbabwe, these projects are outlined in the NDCs, NDS 1 and Low Emissions Development Strategy.
Zamasiya said that in general there was an increase in lending from bilateral and multilateral financiers, but as the money is accessible in the form of loans, it was difficult for developing countries like Zimbabwe to access it due to the poor macroeconomic environment and the high risk of indebtedness given that Paris Club members also influence access to such financing.
However, there is consensus that despite these challenges, developing countries need to access climate finance for climate action.
Also speaking at the same indaba on responding to climate change, UN Development Program lead economist Ojijo Odhlambo said Zimbabwe should consider green bonds for climate sustainability, which are conventional bonds raised on national or international capital markets, the proceeds of which are used for projects that generate environmental effects. benefits.
These, he said, were increasingly becoming an important source of green finance due to growing demand as investors gradually commit to making responsible investments.
“There are also catastrophe bonds.
“These are high-yield debt instruments designed to raise funds for businesses in the insurance industry in the event of a natural disaster, i.e. the issuer only receives funding from the obligation only if specific conditions, such as an earthquake or tornado, occur,” Odhlambo said.
“On the other hand, weather risk insurance is designed to help protect individuals, small businesses or entire countries from permanent damage caused by the impact of extreme weather events. Such a system builds financial resilience short-term through rapid disbursement of emergency payments, and long-term can contribute to disaster risk reduction.
Zimbabwe is responsible for 0.07% of global GHG emissions and, as an agribusiness economy, it relies on climate-sensitive services for food revenue and economic growth.
But securing funding to help mitigate the effects of climate change will help the southern African nation combat the adverse effects and ensure long-term food sustainability.
- This story was produced as part of the WAN-IFRA Media Freedom African Media Grants initiative