Zimbabwe

Ethical and Justice Reflections in Zimbabwe’s INDC and Climate Policies

Second Round Report

By
Nelson Chanza1, Innocent Chirisa2 Washington Zhakata3, & Eric S.M.S. Makura4

1Lecturer, Dept. of Geography, Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura
2Lecturer, Dept. of Rural & Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe, Harare
3Director, Climate Change Management Dept, Ministry of Environment, Water & Climate, Harare
4Lecturer, Faculty of Social Studies, Gender & Dev. Studies, Women’s University in Africa, Harare

Introduction
The discourse shaping international climate policy regimes has of late, shifted towards intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). The INDCs are mitigation pledges submitted by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) well in advance of the highly anticipated climate policy agreement scheduled at the forthcoming 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris (France) in December 2015. COP21’s objective is ambitious: To adopt the first universal and legally binding agreement that will require Parties to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in order to keep global warming below 2°C (or even 1.5°C), a limit agreed by the international community as necessary in avoiding dangerous levels of climate change. As the world warms up efforts toward this envisioned phenomenal milestone in the history of climate policies, the question of equity and ethical obligations is increasingly drawing the attention of researchers and policy makers (Brown & Taylor, 2014; Ngwadla, 2014). This interest stems from the realisation that climate policy process should revolve around twining the objectives of economic benefits and the ethical responsibilities to those experiencing climate change impacts. To Ngwadla (2014), an effective climate change agreement is underpinned by fairness and equity in policy negotiations. It is therefore, crucial to interrogate how the policy-making process in Zimbabwe and the national mitigation commitments called for by the UNFCCC, in particular, has addressed ethics and justice issues. This report seeks to deepen understanding of ethics, justice and equity dimensions of climate policies by adopting a case-based interrogation of Zimbabwe’s climate policy regimes.

Before the discussion unfolds, it is vital to state that Zimbabwe has lately seen several advances at its climate policy front. Of particular mention, are the on-going national climate policy development and the recent National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) document. Reference to climate policy in this report therefore heavily draws from these processes, and partly from earlier various uncoordinated climate change-related policies within the various sectors, which impliedly address and guide climate change interventions. The architecture of this paper crystallises the eleven set of questions that are specified by the Climate Justice Project. The report begins by an overview of the climate policy systems that Zimbabwe has gone through since its participation at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that gave birth to the UNFCCC, a major reference point for international climate policies. The report then answers the questions addressed in this Project before giving conclusive highlights on how the nation or civil society should reconsider ethical and justice dimensions in climate policy formulation.
Developments in Zimbabwe’s Climate Policy Regimes

 

Zimbabwe is among the countries that seriously consider the reality and impacts of climate change. Its attention to the global problematique can be traced as early as 1992 when it joined the international community in participating in various climate policy regimes. The Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) is a signatory to the two major environmental laws governing climate change; namely, the UNFCCC, which it signed and ratified in 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol ratified in 2009. Since then, the country has vigorously pursued national climate policies. As part of its willingness to contribute towards GHG stabilisation, climate change issues have broadly been included in the 2009 National Environmental Policy (NEP). The NEP, however, does not address climate change as a standalone issue but is implied in strategies and activities that result in GHG emissions. Alongside the NEP are various environmental policies that also address climate change issues. These policies include; the Environmental Impact Assessment Policy (1997), the National Environmental Education Policy and Strategies (2003) and the National Fire Strategy and Implementation Plan (2006). Other policies related to GHG stabilisation include; the National Energy Policy (2009), the Zimbabwe Agricultural Policy Framework (ZAPF), which gives a 25 year horizon (1995-2020), the Water Policy and the Science and Technology Policy. It should be noted here that these policies, although lacking specificity to climate change, collectively infer to mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change (GoZ, 2012a; 2012b; 2014).

Realising such policy gaps, GoZ developed the NCCRS that it promulgated in 2014. Aside from specifying a National Action Plan for mitigation and adaptation, the NCCRS provides a framework for a comprehensive and strategic approach on aspects of mitigation, adaptation, technology, financing as well as public education and awareness. It also opens a policy dialogue on the need for an independent policy or another legal framework on climate change. Accordingly, in early 2015, GoZ embarked on a climate policy development, which aside from embracing a mitigation trajectory mainly targeting the energy sector, is also intended to climate-proof the country’s sensitive socio-economic development sectors. Currently, the draft climate policy document is at advanced stages of being finalised. Additionally, in accordance with Articles 4 and 12 of the UNFCCC, Zimbabwe has since provided two national communications to the United Nations. The country submitted its Initial National Communication (INC) and the Second National Communication (SNC) in 1998 and 2012, respectively. The Third National Communication is still being finalised. These reports cover information on Zimbabwe’s GHG inventory, measures to reduce emissions and adaptation to climate change (GoZ, 1998; GoZ, 2012a). Overall, the policy documents reveal that Zimbabwe has not been complacent in adopting mitigation measures to cut its emissions. In an attempt to twin GHG reduction and promoting economic development, the country has embraced the concept of sustainable development, which is demonstrated by adopting sustainable energy development interventions. Responses to the subsequent sections elaborately review the climate policy development processes from the ethical and justice lenses.

  1. Identify the most recent national commitment on reducing GHG emissions (INDCs) made by the country and the date on which it was made.

In response to the international call to cut GHG emissions, GoZ submitted its INDC to the UNFCCC on the 30th of September 2015. In its INDC, Zimbabwe sets the conditional mitigation contribution of reducing emissions by 33% below a business as usual (BAU) scenario by 2030. To accomplish this goal, the country has targeted the energy sector where it seeks to implement several projects, amongst them; ethanol blending, solar water heaters, energy efficiency improvement, increasing hydro in the energy mix, and the refurbishment and electrification of the rail infrastructure. These interventions specifically target reductions in carbon-dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrogen oxide (N20) gases. Other mitigation strategies expressed include: coal-bed methane power, solar powered off-grids, integrated waste management, changing thermal power station technologies, reviewing the transport system, REDD implementation and sustainable energy alternatives in tobacco curing. Given the vulnerability of the country’s socio-economic sectors, GoZ also communicated its adaptation contributions. These cover broad sectors in agriculture (promoting adapted crop and livestock development and climate-smart agricultural practices); human settlements and livelihoods (building resilience in managing climate-related disaster risks such as droughts and floods; promoting practices that reduce risk of losses in crops, livestock and agricultural incomes); and water (strengthening management of water resources and irrigation infrastructure) (GoZ, 2015).

2. Given that any national GHG emissions reduction target is implicitly a position on an atmospheric GHG concentration that will avoid dangerous climate change, to what extent has the nation expressly identified an atmospheric GHG level target goal or a warming limit that its INDC is designed to achieve and is it possible to quantitatively examine how the GHG emission target links quantitatively to an atmospheric GHG concentration or carbon budget?

In communicating its INDC to the UNFCCC, Zimbabwe specifies that it seeks to contribute to an ambitious global goal of limiting temperature rise to below 1.50C (GoZ, 2015). This target is set to prevent dangerous climate change whose multiple threats are projected to worsen exposure to extreme heat waves, sea level rises, severe storms, drought, floods and poverty and food insecurity particularly among the poor countries (World Bank, 2013a). In its INDC, Zimbabwe has prioritized the energy sector since it is the major source of GHG emissions in comparison to other sectors. This sector was identified through key category analysis to determine areas with huge GHG reduction potential. The various mitigation options were evaluated using the Zimbabwe Load Forecast (ZILF), Greenhouse Gas Costing (GAMCO) and the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning systems (LEAP) models. In addition, input of the identified options was sought from various stakeholders that included government departments, international development agencies and the local civil society (GoZ, 2015). Accordingly, it is clear that the country’s GHG emission target has passed through robust scrutiny and can quantitatively be examined. Essentially, the INDC development process linked with other policy frameworks such as the National Climate Policy (currently being developed), the National Energy Policy, the Industrial Development Policy and National Communications to the UNFCCC. Zimbabwe’s INDC report further states that the institutional accounting, monitoring and evaluation framework will be done by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate with the support from the Office of the President and Cabinet. Before its finalisation, the draft report was also technically reviewed by local and international experts to ensure transparency in the country’s intended mitigation contributions (GoZ, 2015). World Bank (2013b) stresses that the robustness of mitigation commitments is in the monitoring reporting and verification (MRV).

3. Given that any national GHG emissions reduction target is implicitly a position on what ethics, justice and equity requires of it, to what extent has the nation expressly identified the justice or equity basis that it has considered in determining a GHG emissions reduction target percentage level?

Zimbabwe embraces the founding principles of the UNFCCC, which include protecting the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations on the basis of equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities. As such, the country’s climate policies and strategies call for climate-smart policies and places climate change concerns at the centre of development strategies, plans and programmes in all sectors of the economy. Important to consider in this discussion is the fact that being a non-Annex 1 country, Zimbabwe is currently under no obligation to cut GHG emissions. However, events on the ground show that the country has not been reluctant to put in place modalities for minimising GHG emissions. Inarguably, its conditional mitigation pledges are fair as the country seeks to unlock potential in economic growth while embracing the global call for low carbon pathways. Given the country’s current global share of 0.03% in carbon emissions (UNFCCC, 2014) and the per capita emissions of 3.6tCO2/eq projected in 2030 by the Australian-German Climate and Energy College (online) based on its submitted INDC, Zimbabwe’s GHG emission reduction target seems to be justified. The reason advanced here is that the country still has to fully unlock its economic growth but remaining conscious of the implications of a carbon-intensive economic development pathway. In other words, it will be fair for the country to get the much needed support from the global community to meet or even increase its mitigation pledges stipulated in the INDC between the 2020-2030 timeframe. Thus, Zimbabwe joins the call of other developing countries to be supported by finance, capacity building, and technology development and transfer in order to adequately meet both its mitigation and adaptation targets.

4. To what extent, if any, has the national debate about the nation’s INDC considered or acknowledged that the nation not only has economic interests in setting its GHG target but also ethical obligations to those who are most vulnerable to climate change?

 

To some extent, the process of Zimbabwe’s INDC development has been sensitive to the ethical obligations of its vulnerable populations. In its INDC, the country acknowledges that its key socio-economic sectors are exposed to changes and variabilities in the climate system. For instance, the agricultural sector that constitutes between 10 and 15% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is largely rain-fed and hence highly sensitive to climate change. About 80% of the rural population’s livelihoods is dependent on rain-fed agriculture making them highly vulnerable to climate change impacts such as drought and violent storms. As such climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector has been prioritized by the INDC document (GoZ, 2015).

The SNC to the UNFCCC reveals that the country’s priorities are mainly on adaptation of vulnerable communities and ecosystems to climate change (GoZ, 2012a). Nonetheless, several sector-specific adaptation options identified have been constrained by paucity of adaptation funding. For instance, the need to promote irrigation development through dam construction and adoption of rainwater harvesting technologies to cope with drought and water scarcity have been severely hampered by lack of funds (GoZ, 2014). Consequently, communities at risk of climatic events like drought and floods have largely felt the pinch of starvation in adaptation funding. For example, the Department of Disaster Management and Resettlement, formerly the Department of Civil Protection, is mostly state-funded. Unfortunately, the funds are only released after the President declares a state of disaster. In most cases, however, the funding allocated cannot match the magnitude of the disaster that the community faces. A case in point is the Tokwe-Mukorsi flooding, which according to the Herald of 18th of February (2014), Government required US$20 million for the urgent evacuation, relocation, sheltering and provision of safe water and other requisite amenities for the affected 60,000 people.

It is also vital to note that the current economic challenges that Zimbabwe faces does not create sufficient room for the incorporation of climate funding in the national budgets. Speaking at the first stakeholder meeting to prepare for the development of a National Climate Policy, Professor Feresu who led the development of the NCCRS reported this “…we actually had people from finance saying ‘you are crazy’. There is no way Government can fund this.” This reaction came after she remarked that the country will require US$10 billion to meet the costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation in the next five to ten years, as specified in the NCCRS document (Herald, 15/09/2014). Clearly, Government alone cannot meet adaptation financing responsibilities. The situation calls for the urgent collective responsibility of those countries emitting GHGs above their fair share to fund adaptation measures or unavoidable losses and damages in poor developing countries, such as Zimbabwe. Sadly, however, the promises made by industrialized countries largely responsible for climate change to fund adaptation programmes in poor countries remain unfulfilled. For instance, promises of US$30 billion in first start finance between 2010 and 2012 were only half-met. Similarly, indications are that annual pledges of US$100 billion between 2013 and 2020 are not likely to be met (Buchner et al., 2014; IPCC, 2014). Many scholars have also expressed this serious shortfall in funds to support adaptation needs of developing countries (Ayers, 2009; Persson & Reading, 2014; Pauw, 2015; Wood et al., 2015).

Given a background where communities have been exposed to climate risks and disasters, Zimbabwe is increasingly challenged to articulate climate justice issues in its climate change response strategies. Many rural farmers whose activities heavily rely on rain-fed agriculture have become victims of drought. These have been unjustly exposed to crop failures and death of livestock, a consequent of lack of funding and the high investment costs for building dams and setting up irrigation infrastructure (Brown et al., 2012; GoZ, 2012b). Furthermore, the fact that African indigenous communities feel the greatest pinch of climate change impacts yet they have insignificant contribution to the problem requires a deeper analysis through the lenses of climate justice. Thus, it can also be argued that sensitivity to the adaptation needs of vulnerable groups would see the incorporation of indigenous people and their local knowledge in policy strategies. Although not much on the ground has been done to engage indigenous people in climate policy regimes, the NCCRS recognises climate change responses “….which are knowledge and evidence based that incorporates indigenous knowledge systems, culture and science.” The strategy document specifies the need to strengthen the documentation and harnessing of indigenous knowledge to complement conventional knowledge for robust climate change adaptation (GoZ, 2014).

5. To what extent have NGOs or other major participants engaged in climate change policy formation at the national level examined the national INDC from an ethics, justice, or equity perspective?

As stated in the previous section, Zimbabwe’s INDC development process created space for civil society input and verification. The spaces were created through stakeholder consultative workshops across the country’s provinces. In these workshops, community groups represented by chiefs, rural and urban local authorities, political parties and NGOs participated both in-house and in plenary sessions covering key issues they felt should be covered in the national commitments. Although the themes of these consultative workshops did not explicitly mention about the ethics, justice and equity perspectives of the policy, it can be argued that these issues were embedded in the discussions. It is reasonable therefore, to state that the policy theme on cross cutting issues implicitly tackled the ethical and justice dimensions. For instance, the objectives of the stakeholder consultative meeting on climate policy enablers were stated as thus:
• To generate policy statements that support education, training and communicating climate change information to women, children and youth, the poor and other vulnerable groups, and enhance their knowledge and skill in national climate impacts;
• To solicit for input for the climate policy on gender mainstreaming, education and training, governance and promote support for climate initiatives;
• To come up with policy statements that will support the implementation of communication strategy for raising awareness on climate change; and
• To map up the way forward for future engagements with stakeholders in addressing climate change issues.

A key point in the development of the INDC is that the process occurred concurrently with the development of the National Climate Policy in 2015. As such, the INDC reflections are ingrained in the climate policy where much of the local stakeholder attention is concentrated. This opportunity could have enabled the INDC to be well sold out.

6. To what extent has the national media covered issues concerning the national INDC with respect to ethical, justice, and equity issues?

As has been pointed out in the preceding section, the twining of the INDC development process with the national policy created an opportunity for the latter to receive fair media coverage. The main avenues in which INDC were communicated in Zimbabwe were the print (newspapers) and electronic media (radio and televisions). The main question however, is about the extent to which such coverage highlighted the ethical, justice and equity issues. It is not clear if the media has adequately informed the public about the ethical and justice issues of climate policies in Zimbabwe. One could safely conclude that the media did not do justice about the justice aspects of the INDC. Inarguably, such a gap could be related to the knowledge gap of the media fraternity to understand the ethical, justice and equity issues characterizing the global climate change conundrum.

Before any nation may adopt an INDC or climate policy it often has to satisfy national economic interests. Yet many nations fail to disclose the national economic interests that have actually affected the lack of aggressiveness of the national INDC when commitments are made under the UNFCCC. Given this, what is known about the actual basis for the aggressiveness of the national INDC?

Zimbabwe’s INDC blends well with the national economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimASSET). ZimASSET cites climate change as a major hindrance in the country’s quest to “achieve sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenization, empowerment and employment creation … propelled by the judicious exploitation of the country’s abundant human and natural resources” (GoZ, 2013). The country’s development and climate change goals are also clearly covered in the NCCRS document, whose goal is to “mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in economic and social development at national and sectoral levels through multi-stakeholder engagement” (GoZ, 2014). This is from the evidence that climate change has serious impacts on the country’s agro-based economy whose livelihoods largely depend on rain-fed agriculture, livestock production and natural resources. Evidently, in order to climate-proof its socio-economic development sectors, the country needs to aggressively pursue the issue of climate change through appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies. Given that Zimbabwe is still developing, it is hoping that through its mitigation pledges strategic mitigation initiatives backed by international support will open up opportunities for low carbon development pathways.

While emphasising the centrality of adaptation and poverty reduction in the country’s climate change thrust, the basis for the Zimbabwe’s INDC is to unlock opportunities both for advancing the need to climate-proof its vulnerable socio-economic development sectors. Thus, the aggressiveness of country’s INDC has to be understood from the lens that the low emission development (LED) pathway pursued by the energy sector has numerous economic development opportunities. In the energy sector, LED pathways have given several opportunities including energy security, energy access, employment generation, cost-savings and health benefits to countries adopting such technologies (World Bank, 2013b; Zhang & Shi, 2014; Tawney et al., 2015).
7.  What formal mechanisms are available in the nation for citizens, NGOs and other interested organizations to question/contest the nation’s ethical position on climate change?

In Zimbabwe, there are various mechanisms or platforms for citizen and civil society engagement. Climate change awareness and dialogue workshops are one such mechanism through which the public and civil society organizations participate in climate governance. These workshops are held in the different provinces of the country. Workshops are also held for parliamentarians and the media community. The objectives of such workshops and dialogue platforms are to put together participants from various sectors and ensure that these find areas of common understanding, to raise awareness on climate change issues. Manjengwa et al (2014) report that the Zimbabwean government held 30 consultative meetings to develop the NCCRS. In these consultative meetings, children, women and the youth were also consulted for their input in the NCCRS document.

Furthermore, the inclusion of two NGOs: Southern Centre for Energy and Environment and Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe in the preparation of the SNC submitted to the UNFCCC in 2012, could be seen as a platform to incorporate the voices of civil society. GoZ (2013) asserts that climate change is a serious issue at global, regional, national and local levels. Therefore, its governance should be seriously considered and mainstreamed at all these levels. Research organizations, NGOs, including UN agencies, are engaging in adaptation and development activities using a variety of approaches and mechanisms including community-based adaptation (CBA). Many of the projects demonstrate that autonomous strategies that were effective in dealing with past climate variability are becoming increasingly ineffective for coping with emergent climate change. Effective climate governance is also needed in order to guide coordinated action. Governance is also fraught with institutional challenges, including limited capacity and poor relations between civil society and the government. Within this policy context, applied research has an important role to play in informing the development of adaptation strategies that respond directly to the needs and vulnerabilities of youth, women and men, in raising climate change as a policy priority at all levels, and in informing an integrated approach to future climate policy-making (Brown et al., 2012).

Climate governance is particularly relevant for integrated planning and policy-making across a variety of sectors. Climate governance has become an increasingly investigated subject across the social sciences, notably within the urban planning literature in response to the growing recognition that the uncertainty of climatic variability and weather extremes will require more flexible governance structures that are able to manage multiple risks (Chirisa & Chanza, 2009; Bulkeley & Broto, 2012; Birkmann et al., 2010; Dodman & Carmin, 2011). In Zimbabwe, civil society is a key governance actor that has an important role to play in climate policy–making (Reid et al., 2011), particularly in building effective communication channels that support the meaningful participation of vulnerable communities (Corfee-Morlot et al., 2009). An example is the Zimbabwe Climate Change Youth Network coalition which was formed in 2009 “as a platform for sharing climate change information (views, ideas and experiences) with a view to raising youth awareness on climate change and enhancing their participation in national, regional and international climate change agendas” (Reid et al., 2011). The youth network demonstrates how civil society can build the social and political capital of marginalized groups so that they can access and influence decision-making processes that they have traditionally been excluded from. Empowerment is highly relevant where liberal democracies are weak, which is particularly the case in Zimbabwe (Corfee-Morlot & Cochran, 2011; Brown et al., 2012).

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) (2013) argues that the civil society plays an important role in raising the awareness of the public on climate issues. Civil Society also uses advocacy to advance the meaningful participation of the vulnerable groups of the society, both rural and urban poor (ibid). This advocacy is done in discussions and dialogues on policy and investment priorities. However, there is a wide-gap in terms of the engagement of the vulnerable communities in climate governance issues. Despite the existence of a Civil Society Working Group (CCWG), an umbrella collection of civil society organizations with diverse interests in climate change, initiatives are poorly organized or not properly coordinated. This is attested by the running of parallel systems that are variously supported by donor funding. The 2012 Baseline Report on Economic Development and Climate Change reported that the Climate Change Management Department (CCMD), a new department in the MEWC set up to coordinate national climate change responses, is not represented in the CCWG, resulting in weak links with the Government. Similarly, the absence of the CCMD in provinces other than Harare tends to limit its effectiveness in bringing all national climatic issues to the agenda. It is therefore important to set up or use platforms that promote effective representation of the marginalized groups in the society. The United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe is also in the process of developing a grassroots climate change programme involving church-led workshops designed to educate parishioners about climate issues.

Many African countries, including Zimbabwe, are beginning to develop national frameworks for responding to climate change, intended to guide adaptation projects and programs. Many of these support projects help civil society participate in identifying adaptation priorities and defining adaptation actions, thus drawing on valuable local knowledge. Zimbabwe has considerable experience of CBA (Chanza, 2015), which can be an ideal strategy for addressing equity and justice issues since local people are actively involved in formulating and implementing adaptation paths. However, as yet many of the adaptation activities NGOs and international organizations undertake have been uncoordinated, leading to challenges in targeting the most appropriate beneficiaries and to duplication of roles. Nevertheless, positive signs of progress are emerging, as exemplified by the growing number of NGOs involved in Zimbabwe’s CCWG (Brown et al., 2012). Networks of this type can support ‘joined-up’ action on climate change. For example, the ongoing Chiredzi District project known as ‘Coping with Drought and Climate Change’ demonstrates how national government is beginning to work in partnership with civil society to translate local learning into higher-level policy (GoZ-UNDP/GEF, 2009).

8. Are you aware of any regional, state, provincial, or local governments in your country that have acknowledged some ethical responsibility for climate change? If so, what have they said?

Generally, the local governments in Zimbabwe have not fully embraced ethical responsibility in their areas. This is mainly because the spatial planning strategies and documents that are prepared have little or no focus on climate change regardless of it being a serious environmental issue threatening the sustainability of human settlements. The City of Harare is one of the local authorities in Zimbabwe that have partially acknowledged ethical responsibility for climate change. The former Mayor of the City of Harare, Mr Muchadeyi Masunda indicated that it is everyone’s responsibility to curb pollution. Reference was made to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the ones on environment management and on global and national partnerships. He also encouraged the City of Harare and other stakeholders to embark on a social mobilization drive to educate the public, including young children, on the challenges faced due to pollution, deforestation, erosion among other environment related challenges (Mattern, 2010). On the part of rural communities, the Chivi Rural District Council has indicated that climate change is a development challenge that can affect human livelihoods. As such the Local Authority in collaboration with NGOs has been making efforts to help the local communities adapt to climate change (Dhliwayo, 2007).

The increased attention to the topic of climate change in Parliamentary debates could suggest growing acknowledgement of the same. Within this view, it can be understood here that such discussions would put the question of ethical responsibility to the attention of policy makers. Prior to this increased participation, Brown et al (2012) had raised concerns about the media’s poor coverage of the topic of climate change, which was indicative of limited awareness and knowledge across society.

9. Has your national government taken any position on or otherwise encouraged individuals, businesses, organizations, subnational governments, or other entities that they have some ethical duty to reduce GHG emissions?

 

In Zimbabwe, several formal and informal institutions deal with climate change issues. Notably, these include government agencies, urban and rural local authorities, NGOs, research bodies and tertiary learning institutions, private sector organizations and the business community, community based organizations and traditional authorities. Collectively, these work in addressing environment management issues, which goes a long way in halting and reversing the trend of the depletion of natural resources through reforestation and other forestry management programmes. The GoZ has made efforts toward bringing together various stakeholders so that collaborative interventions can be done about GHG stabilization. This is evidenced by the dual establishment of a National Steering Committee on Climate Change (NSCCC) and the National Task Team on Climate Change (NTTCC).

Firstly, the NSCCC, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the MEWC, is a cross-sectoral grouping of various stakeholders. As the lead Ministry, the MEWC is a critical stakeholder in the formulation of policies and strategies towards GHG stabilization. The Committee, which meets annually, has the primary task of sharing information about UNFCCC negotiations with all relevant stakeholders. This has largely resulted in the engagement of stakeholders from the private sector. Industry associations, especially the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), the Zimbabwe Investment Centre and the Indigenous Business Development Centre have engendered climate change issues into their operations (GoZ, 2012b). For example, Econet Wireless, a mobile company took a major initiative by developing a climate-indexed drought insurance cover for smallholder farmers. As reported by the Herald of 27 September (2013), the objective of this scheme is to protect farmers against climate vagaries through making financial claims in the event of crop failure resulting from either inadequate or excessive rainfall.

Secondly, the responsibility of the NTTCC is to provide overall policy guidance on national climate change issues and assists in mobilising funds for climate change interventions. The Task Team is located in the Office of the President and Cabinet, and led by a Secretary of Special Affairs. Inarguably, this is meant to make sure that climate issues get serious attention at the highest level. As such it establishes the necessary political machinery to support activities on climate change regimes and budget reforms. Primarily, the NTTCC is mandated to align climate change considerations into the overall national development policy.

Zimbabwe is still setting up the National Designated Authority, the mechanism specified by the UNFCCC meant to examine project eligible for accessing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) funding. Meantime, the Government is getting support from the United Nation’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) for projects meant to protect livelihoods from climate change impacts (GoZ, 2012b).

10. What recommendations would you make to get the nation or civil society to take ethics and justice issues seriously in climate change policy formulation?

In conclusion, it is cogent to argue that much still needs to be done to embrace ethics and justice issues in climate policy regimes in Zimbabwe. It is clear from the preceding analysis that major impedimentss to ethical considerations are mainly related to limited knowledge about the climate governance imperative and budgetary constraints. GoZ therefore needs to widen its engagement of various players in its climate interventions. In order to ensure this, the following aspects are worth noting:

• The existing policy architecture is appropriately designed to tackle climate change issues in the country. What needs to be in place is the software of a revised conceptual attention to the incorporation of ethical issues of climate change impacts on vulnerable communities. This can be realized through mobilizing adaptation funds and speeding up the mapping of climatic hazards and risks on vulnerable populations across the country. Such a mapping exercise will help in prioritizing allocation of available adaptation funds.
• The most appropriate organ of government to tackle climate ethics and justice issues is the legislature. The engagement of parliamentarians in climate change issues need to be up-scaled so that these law-makers would be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to debate more about climate ethics and justice.
• It is also important to note that the engagement of various voices, multi-stakeholder participation and local knowledge is both an adaptation governance requirement and a framework for successful adaptation interventions. As such, government through its appropriate institutions, need to increasingly open space particularly at local government level (both urban and rural local authorities) to engage the citizens in climate policy debates and climate change budgeting. This engagement should start with the councillors who are the interface between the government and the citizens.
• Given the media’s role in communicating about the developments in climate change policy formulation and implementation, and in raising awareness on the same, its strategic involvement in this mandate is very crucial. This means knowledge about the ethics of climate mitigation and adaptation should first be developed through media engagement in training and capacity development before precipitating down to the general public.
• Given that the UNFCCC requires parties to produce updated GHG emission statistics and the limited capacity of the government in this aspect, there is need for continuous skills training, knowledge sharing and capacity development so that the MEWC will be able to discharge this mandate. In order to do this, the Ministry need to continuously engage such partners as the UNDP and UNEP to access the much needed finance and expertise to update its GHG inventory.
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The Consideration of Ethics and Justice Issues in the Formulation of Climate Change Policies in Zimbabwe

Phase 1 Report

By

Nelson Chanza1, Innocent Chirisa2 Washington Zhakata3, & Eric S.M.S. Makura4

1Researcher, Dept. of Geosciences, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
3Lecturer, Dept. of Rural & Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
2Coordinator, Climate Change Office, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe
4Lecturer, Faculty of Social Studies, Gender & Dev. Studies, Women’s University in Africa, Zimbabwe

Introduction

The question on whether national responses to climate change are considering or ignoring ethics, justice and equity is increasingly being interrogated in climate regimes and discourses. This interest stems from the realisation that the climate policy process should revolve around twining the objectives of economic benefits and the ethical obligations to those experiencing climate change impacts. At global level, it is even feared that commitment towards stabilising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is likely to be stymied by lack of a clear policy and operational strategies that address climate justice beginning at national levels. This paper, assessing Zimbabwe’s climate policy development against consideration of ethics and justice issues, is part of the ongoing Project on Deepening National Responses to Climate Change on the Basis of Ethics and Justice, a brainchild of the University of Auckland, School of Architecture and Planning and Widener University, School of Law, Environmental Law Centre. It seeks to deepen the understanding by adopting a case-based interrogation on how Zimbabwe’s climate policy environment has been sensitive to ethics, justice and equity issues.

Before the discussion unfolds, it is vital to state that Zimbabwe has no specific climate change policy and legislation. Development of a standalone climate policy is still on-going. As such, reference to climate policy in this report considers the various uncoordinated climate change-related policies within the various sectors, which impliedly address and guide climate change interventions. The architecture of this paper crystallises the ten set of questions under interrogation as specified. It begins by identifying the emission reduction interventions that Zimbabwe has considered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), debating whether the modalities in place have embraced ethics and justice issues in reducing GHG emissions. Next, the question about the extent of progress made towards identification of GHG atmospheric concentration stabilisation is tackled. This progress is also assessed in terms of meeting ethics and justice considerations. Since Zimbabwe’s emissions are still insignificant to cause global climate change, the question about the country’s acknowledgement of responsibility for emission thresholds and adaptation financing is looked differently. Here we discuss the country access to adaptation funding vis-à-vis the climate-related hazards being experienced to its vulnerable communities. It is also necessary to explore formal mechanisms available for citizen and civil society engagement in scrutinising the country’s ethical position on climate change. The question about how the concept of climate justice is generally understood by the current government is later investigated. This examination is further attuned to the understanding of local government voices on climate ethics and their responsibilities. The level of stakeholder engagement, a key aspect of climate governance, is also examined. Finally, it recommends measures necessary for advancing ethics and justice issues in national climate regimes.

1. To what extent has the national debate about how the nation should respond to climate change by setting a GHG emissions reduction target expressly considered that the nation not only has economic interests in setting the target but also ethical obligations to those who are most vulnerable to climate change and that any national GHG emission reduction target must represent the nation’s fair share of safe global emissions? In answering this question, identify the national GHG emissions reduction target, if any, that the nation has made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Zimbabwe is among the countries that seriously consider the reality and impacts of climate change. Its attention to global climate change can be traced as early as 1992 when it joined the international community in participating in various climate policy regimes. The Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) is a signatory to the two major environmental laws governing climate change; namely, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which it signed and ratified in 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol ratified in 2009. Despite this stride, climate policy development is still at its infancy in the country. However, although the GoZ is yet to formulate a standalone climate policy and legislation, the last few years has seen some major milestones toward the same. As part of its willingness to contribute towards GHG stabilisation, climate change issues have broadly been included in the 2009 National Environmental Policy (NEP). The NEP, however, does not address climate change as a standalone issue but is implied in strategies and activities that result in GHG emissions. Alongside the NEP are various environmental policies that also address climate change issues. These policies include; the Environmental Impact Assessment Policy (1997), the National Environmental Education Policy and Strategies (2003) and the National Fire Strategy and Implementation Plan (2006). Other policies related to GHG stabilisation include; the National Energy Policy (2009), the Zimbabwe Agricultural Policy Framework (ZAPF), which gives a 25 year horizon (1995-2020), the Water Policy and the Science and Technology Policy. It should be noted here that these policies, although lacking specificity to climate change, collectively infer to mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change (GoZ, 2012a; 2012b; 2013).

Realising such policy gaps, GoZ developed the Zimbabwe National Climate Change Response Strategy (ZNCCRS) of 2013. Aside from specifying a National Action Plan for Mitigation and Adaptation, the NCCRS provides a framework for a comprehensive and strategic approach on aspects of mitigation, adaptation, technology, financing as well as public education and awareness. It also opens a policy dialogue on the need for an independent policy or another legal framework on climate change. At present, the country is in the process of developing a specific climate change policy to address this policy void. Therefore, national interventions to reduce GHG are examined within the broad climate regimes presented here. In accordance with articles 4 and 12 of the UNFCCC, Zimbabwe has provided two national communications to the United Nations. The country submitted its Initial National Communication (INC) and the Second National Communication (SNC) in 1998 and 2012, respectively. These reports cover information on Zimbabwe’s GHG inventory, measures to reduce emissions and adaptation to climate change (GoZ, 1998; GoZ, 2012a).

The major sources of GHG emissions in Zimbabwe are fuel combustion, agriculture, waste handling and industrial processes. The GHG inventory is still being developed and the country has been facing challenges related to the discontinuities in national statistical systems. The SNC to the UNFCCC report uses the baseline year of 2000 as the most reliable reference period for estimating national GHG emissions. Therefore, based on the 2000 inventory period, the total national GHG from anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks are 25,805.7Gg and 88,034.6Gg, respectively (GoZ, 2012a). This means Zimbabwe’s sinks have potential to absorb more than double of the total carbon that the country emits. Recent estimates show that the country’s total emissions are 0.78% of total regional emissions in Africa and 0.03% of total world emissions (GoZ, 2012b). On a per capita basis, the country was ranked 154th worldwide in 2007, with per capita emissions of 8.17 million metric tonnes (mnMT) (ibid). Clearly, this situation invokes ethical issues in terms of how the country should benefit from global climate funds meant to finance local adaptation practices and to address the concerns of communities relying on climate-sensitive livelihoods.

Despite the scenario of insignificant GHG emission contribution discussed here, Zimbabwe has not been complacent in adopting mitigation measures to cut its emissions. In an attempt to twin GHG reduction and promoting economic development, the country has embraced the concept of sustainable development, which is demonstrated by adopting sustainable energy development interventions. It is also important to note that Zimbabwe’s GHG emission reduction targets are not specified, but implied in sectoral GHG mitigation programs discussed here. As reported by the SNC, the energy sector, which has the largest share of GHG emissions, has been targeted for emission reduction through clean energy interventions. These programs include; industrial energy management, which incorporates principles of energy switching, energy efficiency improvement and demand side management; waste sector mitigation, which promotes the use of compositing technologies in urban areas; and mitigation projects in agriculture that include conservation farming (GoZ, 2012a). Currently, there are two biodiesel plants and more projects are being planned on the same. The trend in diminishing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that was recorded between 1980 and 2009 could be attributed to these interventions. For example, GoZ/NCCS (nd) reported a 2.04% compound decrease in total CO2 emissions from 2003 to 2008. However, it can be argued that this reduction may not be necessarily related to mitigation interventions, but largely attributed to economic shocks associated with low capacity utilization in the industrial sector and closure of some industries during the same period.

Although the country has prioritized sustainable energy development under mitigation interventions, funding and technical capacity to support the transition into low-carbon energy generation and supply, and to implement energy-efficient options, is still lacking. It is also reported that there has been little investment in low-carbon energy sources and renewable sources from the private sector or public and donor agencies. In addition, although other sectors are associated with declining emissions, more emissions are likely to come from increased population of motor vehicles (GoZ, 2012a; 2012b).

2. In making a national commitment to reduce GHG emissions under the UNFCCC, to what extent, if at all, has the nation explained how it took equity and justice into consideration in setting its GHG emissions reduction target?

As earlier specified, being a non-Annex 1 country, Zimbabwe is currently under no obligation to cut GHG emissions. However, the country has not been reluctant to put in place modalities for minimising GHG emissions. In adopting the mitigation programs specified above, it is however not clear as to whether the country has considered equity and justice issues. The media has been silent about reporting on equity and justice at national level, suggesting that awareness and knowledge about these issues are still remote. On another note, given the ongoing rural electrification programme, whose objectives are to, inter alia, ensure improved availability of electricity to rural communities and to halt deforestation, it can be argued that the country has made some strides in embracing equity and justice aspects through access to clean energy supply. Communities can therefore switch from the traditional fuelwood energy whose use not only lead to respiratory infections, but also expose women and children to the laborious task of collecting the wood. The major challenges, however, are largely related to incapacity to pay for the energy services by poor households and the frequent power cuts emanating from inadequate electricity supplies.

There are also renewable energy initiatives that if well-developed can help in cutting GHG emissions. The Ministry of Energy and Power Development supported by a growing number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have initiated programs for sustainable energy development through efficient use of energy resources and increasing use of new and renewable sources. This has seen such several technology based projects, which are alternatives to conventional energy sources being implemented. These include solar energy technology; small hydropower, wind technology, biogas technology, improved woodstove technology and biofuels. The Scientific, Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) also conducts research in technological needs for mitigation and adaptation such as energy saving light bulbs and stoves that efficiently burn firewood. Successful adoption of these technologies, however, has been hampered by numerous challenges. These can be summarised as: lack of clear policies and strategies; limited finance and high capital costs; socio-cultural behaviour, where reportedly communities have habitual resistance to switch to the alternatives; lack of information and consumer awareness; inadequate skilled workforce and training; lack of stakeholder or community participation in energy choices and renewable energy projects; lack of ownership and vandalism; and limited institutional capacity. Although not explicitly specified, it can be argued here that such strides reflect ethical dimensions in ensuring that consumers are given clean energy source options, which aside from being environmental benign also give them health and cost-reduction benefits (Brown et al., 2012; GoZ, 2012a; 2012b).

3. Given that any national GHG emissions target is implicitly a position on achieving an atmospheric GHG concentration that will avoid dangerous climate change, to what extent has the nation identified the GHG atmospheric concentration stabilization level that the national emissions reduction target seeks to achieve in cooperation with other nations?

It should be emphasised in this report that Zimbabwe’s share of GHG emissions are very low relative to regional and global levels. Nevertheless, in line with the UNFCCC’s call to promote and cooperate in all efforts to enhance understanding and documentation of GHG emissions, Zimbabwe recognizes the importance of research and systematic observations and recording of its emissions. Monitoring and research projects related to GHG emissions are being implemented by respective government departments, research institutions and universities, civil society and private agencies. As a member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Zimbabwe actively participates in atmospheric observations such as the Global Climate Observing Systems (GCOS), whose activities seek to monitor climate by maintaining a systematic observation network. Meteorological observations are mainly done by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD). The MSD is thus responsible for disseminating data to regional and international data centers. Monitoring of energy production and consumption is done by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, while the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) monitors the production and use of electricity. Fuel wood consumption is monitored through the use of satellite images by the Forestry Commission, under the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate (MEWC). The Forestry Commission is also responsible for collecting data on the Land-Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) initiative. Consumption of fossil fuels is monitored through statistical records at ports of entry into the country. Zimbabwe’s environmental legislation also mandates local authorities to monitor air quality in their jurisdictions. Apparently, this mandate has not been executed owing to limited capacity and equipment. Only the City of Harare is reportedly monitoring air pollution, albeit on an irregular basis (GoZ, 2012a; 2012b; 2013).

4. Given that any national GHG emissions target is implicitly a position on the nation’s fair share of safe global emissions, to what extent has the nation identified the ethical and justice considerations that it took into account in allocating a percentage of global GHG emissions to the nation through the identification of a GHG emissions reduction commitment?

Although Zimbabwe is constrained by its inability to put in place appropriate measures in order to respond to climate change requirements because of lack of human, institutional and financial resources, it has continued through the years to support the UNFCCC objective to curb the escalation of GHGs (Brown et al., 2012). Zimbabwe has no official long-term development plan but has a Medium Term Plan (MTP) covering 2012-2015 (GoZ, 2013). The MTP recognizes that climate change poses a significant and complex challenge to social and economic development. It acknowledges that increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts, reduced precipitation and gradual increases in temperatures will adversely affect key natural resource based climate sensitive sectors of the economy particularly, agriculture, energy, forestry, water and tourism that contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (ibid). It also highlights that the development choices that the country makes under the MTP, particularly in the energy sector, may contribute to increased emission of GHGs thereby contributing to climate change. It therefore calls for climate-smart policies and places climate change concerns at the centre of development strategies, plans and programs in all sectors of the economy. This will ensure the sustainability of current strategies for social and economic development as well as their compatibility with international best practices on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

5. To what extent, if at all, has the nation acknowledged that any nation emitting GHG above its fair share of safe global emissions has a responsibility to fund reasonable adaptation measures or unavoidable losses and damages in poor developing countries?

Since Zimbabwe does not emit GHGs above its share of safe GHG global emissions, it has no responsibility to fund adaptation measures in other countries. Inarguably, the country should be a recipient of such adaptation funds. In evaluating the concept of adaptation financing therefore, it is necessary to appraise Zimbabwe’s access to adaptation funds vis-à-vis its climate policy regime. The SNC to the UNFCCC reveals that the country’s priorities are mainly on adaptation of vulnerable communities and ecosystems to climate change (GoZ, 2012a). Zimbabwe remains a highly climate-sensitive country owing to both observed and anticipated multi-faceted impacts of climate change in the key sectors of the economy, that is, agriculture, the industrial sector, biodiversity, rangelands, water resources, health and human settlements and tourism. As such several sector-specific adaptation options identified have been constrained by paucity of adaptation funding. For instance, the need to promote irrigation development through dam construction and adoption of rainwater harvesting technologies to cope with drought and water scarcity have been severely hampered by lack of funds.

Given a climate policy trajectory where climate interventions have largely remained uncoordinated and differentiated across sectoral interests, mobilisation of adaptation funds has also become uncoordinated in sympathy with this policy void. Yet, the current international climate regime offers many opportunities for the country to tap into adaptation and mitigation funding. Such opportunities include: the United Nations program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest-related Degradation (UN-REDD+), a carbon-based compensation mechanism for projects that reduce carbon emissions or enhance carbon sinks in developing countries; identifying projects eligible for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); and access to the Green Climate Fund. Against this background communities at risk of climatic events like drought and floods have largely felt the pinch of starvation in adaptation funding. For example, the Department of Disaster Management and Resettlement, formerly the Department of Civil Protection, is mostly state-funded. Unfortunately, the funds are only released after the President declares a state of disaster. In most cases, however, the funding allocated cannot match the magnitude of the disaster that the community faces. A case in point is the Tokwe-Mukorsi flooding, which according to the Herald of 18th of February (2014), government required US$20 million for the urgent evacuation, relocation, sheltering and provision of safe water and other requisite amenities for the affected 60,000 people.

It is also vital to note that the current economic challenges that Zimbabwe faces does not create room for the incorporation of climate funding in the national budgets. Speaking at the first stakeholder meeting to prepare for the development of a National Climate Policy, Professor Feresu who led the development of the NCCRS reported this “…we actually had people from finance saying ‘you are crazy’. There is no way Government can fund this.” This reaction came after she remarked that the country will require US$10 billion to meet the costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation in the next five to ten years, as specified in the NCCRS document (Herald, 15/09/2014). Clearly, the Government of Zimbabwe alone cannot meet adaptation financing responsibilities. The situation calls for the urgent collective responsibility of those countries emitting GHGs above their fair share to fund adaptation measures or unavoidable losses and damages in poor developing countries, such as Zimbabwe. Sadly, however, the promises made by industrialized countries largely responsible for climate change to fund adaptation programs in poor countries remain unfulfilled. For instance, promises of US$30 billion in first start finance between 2010 and 2012 were only half-met. Similarly, indications are that annual pledges of US$100 billion between 2013 and 2020 are not likely to be met (ibid). This serious shortfall in funds to support adaptation needs of developing countries was also reported by Ayers (2009). With reference to disaster management responses in the country, the interventions by the development partners such as United Nations (UN) agencies and NGOs are not reliable and usually come after the President would have declared the state disaster. Another challenge is related to the ongoing sour relations between the government and the international community where the donor funds come from.

The UNFCCC framework requires countries to undertake National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs). These are policy frameworks dedicated to the identification and prioritization of critically important adaptation activities for which further delay might increase vulnerability or lead to higher adaptation costs over the long term (Stringer et al., 2009). However, the 2014 Human Development Index (HDI) (UNDP, 2014) ranks Zimbabwe into the low human development category at 156 out of 187 countries, just after Lesotho, Sudan, Malawi and Mozambique (all LDCs). Zimbabwe’s extremely low HDI, which measures life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment and gross national income per capita (GNI), suggests that the country actually satisfies many of the Less Developed Countries (LDC) criteria, which also measures health, education, literacy and GNI, among others. Some commentators suggest that Zimbabwe has neglected LDC status because the government is unwilling to be associated with the world’s poorest countries. In the case of climate change, this unwillingness could be counterproductive considering the UNFCCC’s commitment to LDCs. For example, the LDC Work Program supports technical assistance, capacity building, and information/technology exchange activities in the development of national climate change frameworks. This development has serious implications in accessing adaptation funds.

6.  What formal mechanisms are available in the nation for citizens, NGOs and other interested organizations to question/contest the nation’s ethical position on climate change?

There are various mechanisms or platforms for citizen and civil society engagement. According to Mpandaguta (1998), climate change awareness and dialogue workshops are one such mechanism through which the public and civil society organizations participate in climate governance. These workshops are held in the different provinces of the country. Workshops are also held for parliamentarians and the media community. The objectives of such workshops and dialogue platforms are to put together participants from various sectors and ensure that these find areas of common understanding, to raise awareness on climate change issues. Manjengwa et al (2014) report that the Zimbabwean government held 30 consultative meetings to develop the NCCRS. In these consultative meetings, children, women and the youth were also consulted for their input in the formulation of this NCCRS document.

Furthermore, the inclusion of two NGOs: Southern Centre for Energy and Environment and Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe in the preparation of the SNC submitted to the UNFCCC in 2012, could be seen as a platform to incorporate the voices of civil society. Government of Zimbabwe (2013) asserts that climate change is a serious issue at global, regional, national and local levels. Therefore, its governance should be seriously considered and mainstreamed at all these levels. Research organizations, NGOs, including UN agencies, are engaging in adaptation and development activities using a variety of approaches and mechanisms including community-based adaptation (CBA). Many of the projects demonstrate that autonomous strategies that were effective in dealing with past climate variability are becoming increasingly ineffective for coping with emergent climate change. Effective climate governance is also needed in order to guide coordinated action. Governance is also fraught with institutional challenges, including limited capacity and poor relations between civil society and the government. Within this policy context, applied research has an important role to play in informing the development of adaptation strategies that respond directly to the needs and vulnerabilities of youth, women and men, in raising climate change as a policy priority at all levels, and in informing an integrated approach to future climate policy-making (Brown et al., 2012).

Climate governance is particularly relevant for integrated planning and policy-making across a variety of sectors. Climate governance has become an increasingly investigated subject across the social sciences, notably within the urban planning literature in response to the growing recognition that the uncertainty of climatic variability and weather extremes will require more flexible governance structures that are able to manage multiple risks (Chirisa and Chanza, 2009; Bulkeley and Broto, 2012; Birkmann et al., 2010; Dodman and Carmin, 2011). In Zimbabwe, Civil society is a key governance actor that has an important role to play in climate policy–making (Reid et al., 2011), particularly in building effective communication channels that support the meaningful participation of vulnerable communities (Corfee-Morlot et al., 2009). An example is the Zimbabwe Climate Change Youth Network coalition which was formed in 2009 “as a platform for sharing climate change information (views, ideas and experiences) with a view to raising youth awareness on climate change and enhancing their participation in national, regional and international climate change agendas” (Reid et al., 2011). The youth network demonstrates how civil society can build the social and political capital of marginalized groups so that they can access and influence decision-making processes that they have traditionally been excluded from. Empowerment is highly relevant where liberal democracies are weak, which is particularly the case in Zimbabwe (Corfee-Morlot and Cochran, 2011; Brown et al., 2012).

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) (2013) argues that the civil society plays an important role in raising the awareness of the public on climate issues. In Zimbabwe, civil society is building effective communication channels for meaningful participation of communities in climate governance. Much of the participation in Zimbabwe is supported by NGOs engaged in community based projects. Civil Society also uses advocacy to advance the meaningful participation of the vulnerable groups of the society, both rural and urban poor (ibid). This advocacy is done in discussions and dialogues on policy and investment priorities. However, there is a wide-gap in terms of the engagement of the vulnerable communities in climate governance issues. Despite the existence of a Civil Society Working Group (CCWG), an umbrella collection of civil society organizations with diverse interests in climate change, initiatives are poorly organized or not properly coordinated. This is attested by the running of parallel systems that are variously supported by donor funding. The 2012 Baseline Report on Economic Development and Climate Change reported that the Climate Change Office (CCO), an office in the MEWC set up to coordinate national climate change responses, is not represented in the CCWG, resulting in weak links with the Government. Similarly, the absence of the CCO in provinces other than Harare tends to limit its effectiveness in bringing all national climatic issues to the agenda. It is therefore important to set up or use platforms that promote effective representation of the marginalized groups in the society. The United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe is also in the process of developing a grassroots climate change program involving church-led workshops designed to educate parishioners about climate issues.

Many African countries, including Zimbabwe, are beginning to develop national frameworks for responding to climate change, intended to guide adaptation projects and programs. Many of these support projects help civil society participate in identifying adaptation priorities and defining adaptation actions, thus drawing on valuable local knowledge. Zimbabwe has considerable experience of CBA, which can be an ideal strategy for addressing equity and justice issues since local people are actively involved in formulating and implementing adaptation paths. However, as yet many of the adaptation activities NGOs and international organizations undertake have been uncoordinated, leading to challenges in targeting the most appropriate beneficiaries and to duplication of roles. Nevertheless, positive signs of progress are emerging, as exemplified by the growing number of NGOs involved in Zimbabwe’s Climate Change Working Group (Brown et al., 2012). Networks of this type can support ‘joined-up’ action on climate change. For example, the ongoing Chiredzi District project known as ‘Coping with Drought and Climate Change’ demonstrates how national government is beginning to work in partnership with civil society to translate local learning into higher-level policy (GoZ-UNDP/GEF, 2009).

7. How is the concept of climate justice understood by the current government? Have they articulated any position on climate justice issues that arise in setting GHG emissions policy or in regard to the adaptation needs of vulnerable nations or people?

Given a background where communities have been exposed to climate risks and disasters, Zimbabwe is increasingly challenged to articulate climate justice issues in its climate change response strategies. The major challenge is to do with budgetary allocations to finance climate interventions. Given a trajectory where interventions to address climatic events like drought and floods tend to unsynchronised with the urgency and magnitude of the disasters involved, most communities, as previously reported, have been seriously affected by such events. Many rural farmers whose activities heavily rely on rain-fed agriculture have become victims of drought. These have been unjustly exposed to crop failures and death of livestock, a consequent of lack of funding and the high investment costs for building dams and setting up irrigation infrastructure (Brown et al., 2012; GoZ, 2012b).

The Government of Zimbabwe is fully aware of the negative effects of climate change on vulnerable groups. For example, at the launch of the 2014 Expo on Sustainable Livelihoods in Harare, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Ms Oppah Muchinguri alluded that women are heavily enduring the negative effects of climate change as they constitute the majority of smallholder farmers largely relying on rain-fed agriculture, which is climate sensitive (Herald, 24/11/2014). The country has embarked on gender-sensitive policies on land tenure security, access to agricultural inputs, including credit facilities and markets. The major challenge, however, is the inadequacy of these social nets or springboks in addressing the growing needs of vulnerable groups owing to both climatic and non-climatic entrenched drives of vulnerability mostly experienced in developing countries as reported by IPCC (2014).

Furthermore, the fact that African indigenous communities feel the greatest pinch of climate change impacts yet they have insignificant contribution to the problem requires a deeper analysis through the lenses of climate justice. Thus, it can also be argued that sensitivity to the adaptation needs of vulnerable groups would see the incorporation of indigenous people and their local knowledge in policy strategies. Although not much on the ground has been done to engage indigenous people in climate policy regimes, the ZNCCRS recognises climate change responses “….which are knowledge and evidence based that incorporates indigenous knowledge systems, culture and science.” The strategy document specifies the need to strengthen the documentation and harnessing of indigenous knowledge to complement conventional knowledge for robust climate change adaptation (GoZ, 2013).

8. Are you aware of any regional, state, provincial, or local governments in your country that have acknowledged some ethical responsibility for climate change? If so, what have they said?

Generally, the local governments in Zimbabwe have not fully embraced ethical responsibility in their areas. This is mainly because the spatial planning strategies and documents that are prepared have little or no focus on climate change regardless of it being a serious environmental issue that can affect the sustainability of human settlements. The City of Harare is one of the local authorities in Zimbabwe that have partially acknowledged ethical responsibility for climate change. The former Mayor of the City of Harare, Mr Muchadeyi Masunda indicated that it is everyone’s responsibility to curb pollution. Reference was made to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the ones on environment management and on global and national partnerships. He also encouraged the City of Harare and other stakeholders to embark on a social mobilization drive to educate the public, including young children, on the challenges faced due to pollution, deforestation, erosion among other environment related challenges (Mattern, 2010). On the part of rural communities, the Chivi Rural District Council has indicated that climate change is a development challenge that can affect human livelihoods. As such the Local Authority in collaboration with NGOs has been making efforts to help the local communities adapt to climate change (Dhliwayo, 2007).

The increased attention to the topic of climate change in Parliamentary debates could suggest growing acknowledgement of the same. Within this view, it can be understood here that such discussions would put the question of ethical responsibility to the attention of policy makers. Prior to this increased participation, Brown et al (2012) had raised concerns about the media’s poor coverage of the topic of climate change, which was indicative of limited awareness and knowledge across society.

9. Has your national government taken any position on or otherwise encouraged individuals, businesses, organizations, subnational governments, or other entities that they have some ethical duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

In Zimbabwe, several formal and informal institutions deal with climate change issues. Notably, these include government agencies, urban and rural local authorities, NGOs, research bodies and tertiary learning institutions, private sector organizations and the business community, community based organizations and traditional authorities. Collectively, these work in addressing environment management issues, which goes a long way in halting and reversing the trend of the depletion of natural resources through reforestation and other forestry management programs. The Government of Zimbabwe has made efforts toward bringing together various stakeholders so that collaborative interventions can be done about GHG stabilization. This is evidenced by the dual establishment of a National Steering Committee on Climate Change (NSCCC) and the National Task Team on Climate Change (NTTCC).

Firstly, the NSCCC, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the MEWC, is a cross-sectoral grouping of various stakeholders. As the lead Ministry, the MEWC is a critical stakeholder in the formulation of policies and strategies towards GHG stabilization. The Committee, which meets annually, has the primary task of sharing information about UNFCCC negotiations with all relevant stakeholders. This has largely resulted in the engagement of stakeholders from the private sector. Industry associations, especially the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), the Zimbabwe Investment Centre, Indigenous Business Development Centre have taken climate change issues into mainstream of their environmental discussions (GoZ, 2012b). For example, Econet Wireless, a mobile company took a major initiative by developing a climate-indexed drought insurance cover for smallholder farmers. As reported by the Herald of 27 September (2013), the objective of this scheme is to protect farmers against climate vagaries through making financial claims in the event of crop failure resulting from either inadequate or excessive rainfall.

Secondly, the responsibility of the NTTCC is to provide overall policy guidance on national climate change issues and assists in mobilising funds for climate change interventions. The Task Team is located in the Office of the President and Cabinet, and led by a Secretary of Special Affairs. Inarguably, this is meant to make sure that climate issues get serious attention at the highest national level. As such it establishes the necessary political machinery to support activities on climate change regimes and budget reforms. Primarily, the NTTCC is mandated to align climate change considerations into the overall national development policy.

Zimbabwe is still setting up the National Designated Authority, the mechanism specified by the UNFCCC meant to examine project eligible for accessing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) funding. Meantime, the Government is getting support from the United Nation’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) for projects meant to protect livelihoods from climate change impacts (GoZ, 2012b).

1o. What recommendations would you make to get the nation or civil society to take ethics and justice issues seriously in climate change policy formulation?

Conclusively, it is clear that much still has to be done to embrace ethics and justice issues in climate policy regimes in Zimbabwe. From the preceding analysis, the major impediments to ethical considerations are mainly related to limited knowledge about the climate governance imperative and budgetary constraints. Notwithstanding the general acknowledgement of the threat of climate change to the public, Government of Zimbabwe needs to widen its engagement of various players in its climate interventions. In order to this, the following aspects are worth noting:

• The existing policy architecture is appropriately designed to tackle climate change issues in the country. What needs to be in place is the software of a revised conceptual attention to the incorporation of ethical issues of climate change impacts on vulnerable communities. This can be realized through mobilizing adaptation funds and speeding up the mapping of climatic hazards and risks on vulnerable populations across the country. Such a mapping exercise will help in prioritizing allocation of limited adaptation funds.
• The most appropriate organ of government to tackle climate ethics and justice issues is the legislature. The engagement of parliamentarians in climate change issues need to be up-scaled so that these law-makers could be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to debate more about climate ethics and justice.
• It is also important to note that the engagement of various voices, multi-stakeholder participation and local knowledge is both an adaptation governance requirement and a framework for successful adaptation interventions. As such, government through its appropriate institutions, need to increasingly open space particularly at local government level (both urban and rural local authorities) to engage the citizens in climate policy debates and climate change budgeting. This engagement should start with the councilors who are the interface between the government and the citizens.
• Given the media’s role in communicating about the developments in climate change policy formulation and implementation, and in raising awareness on the same, its strategic involvement in this mandate is very crucial. This means knowledge about the ethics of climate mitigation and adaptation should first be developed through media engagement in training and capacity development before precipitating down to the general public.
• Given that the UNFCCC requires parties to produce updated GHG emission statistics and the limited capacity of the government in this aspect, there is need for continuous skills training, knowledge sharing and capacity development so that the MEWC will be able to discharge this mandate. In order to do this, the Ministry need to continuously engage such partners as the UNDP and UNEP to access the much needed finance and expertise to update its GHG inventory.

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