Zimbabwe signed and ratified the UNFCCC in 1992. It has since submitted two national communications, in 1998 and 2013 with financial support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management (MENRM), the Second National Communication (2013) assessed vulnerability and adaptation capacity to climate change for key sectors in economy: agriculture, biodiversity, rangelands, water resources, health and human settlements and tourism. The last 30 years have seen the warmest surface temperature, reduced rainfall and more frequent droughts. Such changes have been impacting the primarily agro-based economy, where over 70% of the population depends on climate-sensitive occupations (such as arable farming and livestock) in rural areas. Therefore, climate change has been regarded as one of the threats to the people’s livelihood and development.

MENRM has overall responsibility for environment related matters and control of air pollution, including GHGs. The National Climate Change Office within the MENRM is responsible for climate change co-ordination, supported by a multi-sectoral National Climate Change Committee. The Climate Change Office has initiated the formulation of a comprehensive National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS): the draft strategy of 2013 includes a national action plan for adaptation and mitigation, analysis of strategy enablers (e.g. capacity building, climate change education, communication and awareness), climate change governance and implementation framework. The Environmental Management Act established environment related agencies and provisions aiming to “provide for the sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment; [and] the prevention of pollution and environmental degradation”. Established agencies include the Natural Environmental Council that advices on national environmental policies, plans and strategies.

The NCCRS draft provides that a National Task Team on Climate Change (NTT) be empowered through a legal mandate. The NTT, which consists of experts and representatives from the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, the Office of the Parliament and Cabinet and civil society, is not legally constituted by an Act of Parliament, though it reports to and is chaired by a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet. Therefore, it does not have legal mandate to address climate change issues or co-ordinate institutions and stakeholders, nor is it embedded in a governance framework. Nevertheless, the NTT is responsible for designing details of the NCCRS including vision, pillars and specific strategies to achieve them. The goal of the NCCRS drafted in 2013 for discussion was to “mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in economic and social development at national and sectoral levels through multi-stakeholder engagement.” The risks and impacts of climate change are analysed in the draft NCCRS, followed by sectoral strategies. The seven pillars of climate change responses are: 1) adaptation and disaster risk management; 2) mitigation and low carbon development strategies; 3) capacity; 4) governance framework; 5) finance and investment; 6) technology development and transfer, including infrastructure; and 7) communication and advocacy.

Climate change considerations have also been incorporated into some aspects of development and growth planning. The Medium Term plan (MTP) of 2011-2015, published in 2011 by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion (MEPP) recognises climate change challenges to social and economic development, and prompts development of a national climate change strategy, a climate change policy and a national action plan for adaptation and mitigation. It also aims to increase integration of adaptation and mitigation strategies in economic and development policies at national and sectoral levels.

Energy supply

Energy as of 2012 is primarily supplied by biofuels and waste (66.1%), followed by coal (21.6%), oil (7.4%) and hydropower (4.9%). Electricity is produced by hydro power (59%) and coal (41%). Most rural areas face wood fuel shortages due to land use change to agricultural use and unsustainable firewood harvesting. Zimbabwe has 12bn metric tonnes of coal resources and approximately 40 terra cu ft. of potential coal bed methane (CBM), and 37% of total households have access to the grid electricity from power lines. There is a significant gap between urban and rural households, with 83% of urban homes having access to the grid and just 13% in rural areas.

The National Energy Policy (2012) published by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development (MOEPD), encourages Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to develop renewable sources of energy (biomass, hydropower, liquid biofuel, animal draught power, solar and potentially geothermal). The National Energy Policy also provides that the MOEPD will initiate the process of developing a Rural and Renewable Energy Act to establish Rural Energy Fund, which would promote energy services in rural areas using renewable energy. The policy also recommends establishing an Energy Research Council to promote research on the use of renewable resources. The Ministry of Energy and Power Development is establishing a regulatory board to regulate the energy sector. This change will take place once the draft Energy Regulatory Bill goes through reading and adoption. This will amend the Petroleum Act and the Electricity Act so that a single board regulates petroleum industry, electricity sector and any other energy resources.

Energy demand

Just 6% of total electricity is consumed by rural households, compared to 73% by urban households, and firewood is a very important source of energy in rural areas. The National Energy Plan provides that the Government will develop a comprehensive household energy plan to adequately inefficient use of energy, as well as addressing shortages and the affordability of energy. The Government has proposed supplying 4.5m compact fluorescent light bulbs and introducing a prepaid metering system as ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce peak demand. The National Energy Policy notes the importance of improving energy efficiency in the household, transport and agriculture sectors, though this is primarily motivated by cost and supply rather than climate change concerns. The Policy calls for the promotion of energy efficiency across all sectors, for investment in energy efficiency and conservation programmes, for energy efficiency standards and best practices, to promote demand-side management technology production and transfer, and for encouraging farmer-training programmes to include energy efficiency and planning training.


Zimbabwe’s forestry management legislation dates back to 1949. The Forest Act (1949) details provisions for forest management including burning of vegetation, trade regulations on forest produce and timber conservation. The Forestry Commission, a state agency under the MENRM regulates and manages forest resources.

The NCCRS draft of 2013 outlines six strategies to implement legal frameworks and policies for REDD+ and carbon financing. Strategies include identification of lands subject for carbon management, developing government capacity to handle carbon financing mechanisms and measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of carbon stocks, promote livelihood enhancement activities to reduce rural population’s dependency on forests and forest products, and build capacity of local financial institutions to support carbon finance transactions.

The Kariba REDD+ Project, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, started in 2011 by a company called Carbon Green Africa (CGA) in co-operation with the four Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe. The project aims to reduce deforestation and forest degradation through actions suggested and taken by local communities, including establishment of nutritional gardens, honey production, forest fire prevention and wildlife conservation. It is expected to generate 52m tonnes of carbon credits over 30 years. In 2013, 388,555 Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) were issued. The project has achieved Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) validation and verification, which reflects a robust quality assurance standard used in the project to quantify emissions and reductions. The Kariba REDD+ Project has also achieved Gold Level validation from the Community, Climate and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS), which is awarded to projects that mitigate climate change, contribute to the sustainable development of local communities and biodiversity conservation. The success of this project is expected to be lead to similar projects in other parts of the country.


The 2013 draft NCCRS notes that the transport sector’s share of GHG emissions is currently 12%, and is expected to grow in the future in line with the projected growth of transport sector. The NCCTS draft calls for transport policies to be amended to encourage low-carbon transport, for the redefinition of emissions standards for vehicles, for strengthening capacity to monitor and measure vehicle emissions and to enforce emissions standards, for promotion of vehicle maintenance and for the promotion of ‘cleaner’ fuels such as ethanol and natural gas.


Many adaptation projects are internationally funded. The Coping with Drought and Climate Change project, funded by the GEF and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) under the leadership of UNDP, develops adaptation mechanisms to reduce vulnerability of small-holder farmers and pastoralists to future climate change in rural Zimbabwe. Internal implementing partners include the Environmental Management Agency, government ministries, gender and female development NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs). The Scaling up Adaptation in Zimbabwe project focuses on improving rural livelihoods by strengthening integrated planning systems. Strengthening National Capacity for Climate Change (SNCCC) was launched in 2012 through co-financing from UNDP and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate to handle various climate change related issues.

Adaptation and disaster risk management is also one of the seven pillars under the draft NCCRS, which includes adaptation within other sectoral plans for natural systems, economic sectors and physical and social infrastructure. The 2011-2015 MTP development plan also recognises the challenges climate change poses to economic and social development, and proposes the integration of climate change adaptation strategies into growth strategies and plans across all sectors of the economy.

Energy Regulatory Authority Act, Act No.3 of 2011 (Chapter 13:23) ( 2011 )

This Act establishes the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). The ZERA regulates the procurement, production, transportation, transmission, distribution, importation and exportation of energy derived from any energy source. ZERA is responsible for promotion of renewable energy. The Energy Regulatory Authority Board is also established under this Act, which controls and manages the ZERA. The Act…read more

Environmental Management Act (EMA), Act No.13 of 2002 (Chapter 20:27), revisions under Act No.5 of 2004 (s.23) and Act No. 6 of 2005 (s.28) ( 2006 )

This Act outlines provisions for sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment. It establishes various environment-related agencies including National Environmental Council, Environmental Management Agency, Environment Management Board, Environment Fund, Environmental Quality Standards and Standards and Enforcement Committee. It specifically refers to greenhouse gas reduction in maintaining the environmental quality standards. The National…read more

Electricity Act, Act No.4 of 2002 (Chapter 13:19), revision under Act No.3 of 2003 ( 2003 )

This Act repeals the former Electricity Act. It establishes the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission and details its functions and management rules. The Commission has the objectives to create and promote efficient industry and market structures, maximise access to electricity services, ensure adequate electricity supply, ensure safety, security and reliability of electricity deliveries and provide fair…read more

National Climate Change Response Strategy ( 2015 / Mitigation and Adaptation Framework )

The National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) provides a framework for a comprehensive and strategic approach to climate change adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance. The objective of the Strategy is to 'mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in economic and social development at national and sectoral levels through multi-stakeholder engagement'. The Strategy mainly aims to help…read more

National Energy Policy ( 2012 )

This Policy is prepared by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development (MOEPD) to provide a framework for the exploitation, distribution and utilization of energy resources to fulfil the five broad policy principles (also known as five A’s):  to increase the access of all sectors of the economy to affordable energy through the optimal…read more

Medium Term Plan ( 2011 )

The Medium Term plan (MTP) is a strategic development plan encompassing social and economic policy, published by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion (MEPP). This document sets out the national priorities and investment programmes for five years between 2011 and 2015. It reflects the integration of climate change issues into the country’s development…read more
To date, Zimbabwe does not have any litigation listed.

Emissions More information

Rank as emitter (including LULUCF):
Below Top 50
GHG Emissions 2007-2011 (MtCO2e)
Country-reported GHG emissions (incl. LULUCF) (MTCO2):-19.49 (reporting year: 2000 )
Country-reported GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF) (MTCO2):68.54 (reporting year: 2000 )

Information More information

GHG inventory:1994, 2000
Climate risk assessment:2nd National Communication to the UNFCCC (2013)


Economy wide targets - Up to (and including) 2020

    Economy-wide targets - Beyond 2020

    GHG emissions reduction of 33% by 2030 compared to business-as-usual, conditional on external support.

    • Country's iNDC
    Targets - Energy demand


    Targets - LULUCF


    Targets - Renewables


    Targets- Transport



    GHG Mitigation framework More information

    National Climate Change Response Strategy

    Adaptation framework More information

    National Climate Change Response Strategy

    Policies - Carbon pricing


    Policies - Promotion of low-carbon energy (inc. renewables)

    Encourage Independent Power Producers to develop renewable energy; Establishing Energy Research Council recommended; Initiation of Rural and Renewable Energy Act

    Policies - Energy demand

    Development of a comprehensive household energy plan; Supply of 4.5m compact fluorescent light bulbs; Introduction of prepaid metering systems

    Policies - Transport


    Policies - LULUCF


    Zimbabwe is a presidential republic, where the President is both the Head of State and the Government. It gained independence from Britain in 1979. The Constitution states that the legal system is a combination of the Roman Dutch Law and African Customary Law as modified by legislation.

    The bicameral parliament consists of Senate and House of Assembly. Among the 80 seats of the Senate, 60 members are elected by popular vote for a five-year term, 18 traditional chiefs are elected by the Council of Chiefs and 2 seats are reserved for people with disabilities. The House of Assembly has 270 seats, where members are elected by popular vote for five-year terms and 60 seats are reserved for women identified by their parties or nominated by proportional representation. The last parliamentary and presidential elections were held in 2013, and the next elections are expected to be held in 2018. The President is elected for a five-year term with no term limits.

    Cabinet Ministers are appointed by the President, who is selected from the Members of Parliament. Laws can be proposed either as public, private or hybrid laws. Public bills relate to matters of public interest introduced by the Members of Parliament (Private Members Bills), which can be originated from either of the two houses. Private laws are introduced for the interest or benefit of the person or bodies of persons who prompt the bill; private laws affect only particular individuals or a group of people, e.g. the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers Act that only affects engineers.

    Hybrid bills are public or private bills that are associated with both public and private interests. Bills go through preliminary stages before they are brought to the Parliament; public bills introduced by members of the Executive require proposals from the responsible Minister, approval by the Cabinet and publishing in the Government Gazette. The Portfolio Committee that administers the bills under the relevant ministries consults the public through public hearings or oral evidence interviews, by which the output is presented in the reading stage of parliamentary discussion. Bills are passed at first in the originating House by a simple majority of the MPs present at the time of voting. Bills are then transmitted to the other House for the second reading and voting. The President is required to assent to the bill within 21 days, otherwise the bill is returned to the Parliament. The Constitution provides that in case of disagreements between the two houses not resolved within 90 days, the bill may be presented to the President to assent in the form it was passed in the House of Assembly. Once the President assents, the bill becomes an Act. Private bills are brought in by motion, which in case of approval by the house the bills are introduced in the Parliament for reading and voting.

    Adaptation Learning Mechanism (ALM), Country Profile: Zimbabwe, 2009. [http://www.adaptationlearning.net/country-profiles/zw. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Afrofutures (2015). Zimbabwe starts implementing National Climate Change Response Strategy. [http://afrofutures.com/zimbabwe-starts-implementing-national-climate-change-response-strategy/. Accessed 30 November 2015.

    Carbon Green Africa (CGA), 2014. [http://www.carbongreenafrica.net/component/content/article/41-our-projects-/46-kariba-redd-project.html. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The World Factbook: Zimbabwe, n.d. [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/zi.html. Accessed 04 August 2014.

    Climate Change Information Network, Zimbabwe and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, n.d. [http://unfccc.int/resource/ccsites/zimbab/index.htm. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Code REDD, South Pole Carbon & Carbon Green Africa: Kariba, Zimbabwe, 2012. [http://www.coderedd.org/redd-project/carbon-green-investments-kariba-zimbabwe/#.U_IE5GN6_7E]. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Southern Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA), Handbook on Environmental Assessment Legislation in the SADC Region, 2007. [www.saiea.com/dbsa_book/SADC_Handbook.pdf]. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    DBSA, SADC Environmental Legislation Handbook 2012 (Third Edition), 2012. [www.dbsa.org/EN/About-Us/Publications/…/SADC%20Handbook.pdf]. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Eldis, Regional and Country Profiles: Zimbabwe and Climate Change, 2014. [http://eldis.org/go/country-profiles&country=1243&theme=0#.U-t0o7F6_7E]. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Embassy of Zimbabwe, Welcome to the Embassy of Zimbabwe, 2009. [http://www.zimembassy.se/administration.html. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Forestry Commission, Official Website, 2014. [http://www.forestry.co.zw/. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Zimbabwe: Coping with Drought and Climate Change, 2013. [http://www.thegef.org/gef/https%3A/%252Fwww.thegef.org/gef/node/add/project-highlights/Zimbabwe. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Government of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Government Online, 2014. [http://www.zim.gov.zw/. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Government of Zimbabwe and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource Management, Zimbabwe National Climate Change Response Strategy, 2013. [www.ies.ac.zw/downloads/draft%20strategy.pdf]. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Herald (2015). Adaptive strategies marred by lack of funding. [http://www.herald.co.zw/adaptative-strategies-marred-by-lack-of-funding/. Accessed 30 November 2015.

    International Energy Agency (IEA), Zimbabwe, 2014. [http://www.iea.org/countries/non-membercountries/zimbabwe/]. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Ministry of Energy and Power Development, National Energy Policy 2012, 2012. [http://www.energy.gov.zw/index.php/downloads#]. Accessed 06 Aug 2014.

    Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Zimbabwe Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2013. [http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/zimnc2.pdf. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Official Website, n.d. [http://www.environment.gov.zw/index.php/en/. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    National Climate Change Strategy http://www.ies.ac.zw/downloads/draft%20strategy.pdf

    Office of the Vice President of Zimbabwe, n.d. [http://www.vpmujuruoffice.gov.zw/]. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    Parliament of Zimbabwe, Official Website, 2006. [http://www.parlzim.gov.zw/. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNDP in Zimbabwe, 2013. [http://www.zw.undp.org/content/zimbabwe/en/home/. Accessed 06 August 2014.

    ZBC (2015). Climate Change Strategy launched. [http://www.zbc.co.zw/news-categories/top-stories/62875-zim-launches-climate-chande-strategy. Accessed 20 November 2015.

    Last modified 14 September, 2017