Provision of climate finance critical to sustainable livelihoods
By Edward Mukaro
CLIMATE FINANCE has never become more critical to developing nations than now, as vulnerable communities possess multiple solutions with studies showing that community-owned and managed responses to disasters are most effective in a crisis.
The effects of climate change are disproportionately borne by those who least contributed to it, the developing countries particularly the African Countries, and the situation is far worse for land-locked countries like Zimbabwe where the frequency and magnitude of droughts, floods, heatwaves and erratic rainfall patterns have noticeably increased.
COP26, which was recently held in the United Kingdom (UK), saw wealthy nations yet again failing to honour the US100 billion climate finance meant to assist the developing world in the fight against climate change.
The annual conference (COP) brings together Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement to discuss matters related to the implementation of these international instruments and negotiate on their rules, modalities, procedures, methodologies and guidelines for implementation, analysis and assessment.
The provision of international climate finance is of concern to developing countries. Not enough is being provided to meet the needs of adaptation and mitigation programmes.
According to research from Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance partners Mercy Corps and Concern, wealthy nations have fueled climate chaos by investing in less climate-vulnerable countries.
Unless drastic measures are taken, it is estimated that climate-related disasters will lead to 200 million people needing humanitarian aid each year by 2050.
If made available, landlocked countries like Zimbabwe will be in a position to enhance capacity to address climate change and water-related challenges during the COVID- 19 era.
Zimbabwe has been facing the effects of climate change as it manifested in the form of decreasing rainfall. Last year, the southern African nation had challenges in its bid to supply electrical power to citizens, as water levels in the country’s biggest man-made dam, Kariba Dam, had reached low levels resulting in low electricity output at the hydro-electric power plant.
The Hon. Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu recently expressed concern at how the nation was being affected by climate change, but most importantly, highlighted that with adequate financing in place, Zimbabwe had the apparatus to pull through, as a result of the adaptation and mitigation strategies the nation awaits to implement once funds are availed.
“…Zimbabwe requires enhanced capacity to be able to promote climate action and post-pandemic recovery, also through access to adequate financial support to implement our adaptation and mitigation strategies to achieve the goal set in our 2021 Revised Nationally Determined Contribution,” he said.
Amongst the programmes Zimbabwe has embarked on to climate-proof its economy is the implementation of climate-smart rain-fed agriculture localised as “Pfumvudza/Intwasa” which is a conservation practice that promotes water use efficiency and enhancing soil moisture management on rain-fed lands. Increased use of water-efficient drip irrigation systems; climate resilient seed and animal varieties that are tolerant to extreme weather events and training and promotion of rainwater harvesting practices, use of water-saving practices, moisture conservation, recycling and sinking of boreholes are being vigorously perused to combat climate change in the agricultural sector.
Mitigation measures being implemented by government include improved management of wetlands; promoting ethanol blending use of solar heaters and the increased use of hydropower generation in the energy mix, and the refurbishment and electrification of the rail infrastructure. These will be critical in enabling the country’s economy to grow on a low carbon trajectory as required by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.