Zimbabwe Bank Lines Up Renewable Energy Strategy

IDBZ CEO Thomas Zondo Sakala

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s State-run Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) is working on a new plan to save the planet from climate change.

The strategy will see IDBZ roping in international financiers to fund climate change mitigatory and adaptation projects.

IDBZ has been appointed as the national implementing agency for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a United Nations backed strategy that helps finance climate change mitigatory and adaptation projects.

Last week, IDBZ said it had applied for accreditation with GCF to access resources to help it fund projects in solar and wind power, waste management, water and sanitation, smart transport systems, smart cities and irrigation system.

Consultations off last week, with IDBZ engaging stakeholders to find if there is scope for uptake of climate change facilities in Zimbabwe.

“For the bank to play a significant role, we need to broaden the source of finance to fight climate change,” said Willing Zvirevo, IDBZ’s director for resource mobilisation and climate finance.

“We have conceived the establishment of a climate finance facility (CFF) which will be dedicated to the financing of green and sustainable projects in Zimbabwe. The CFF will provide a platform to crowd in various climate finance sources and, more essentially, private sector investment in green projects and also promote impact investing,” Zvirevo he told the meeting.

It has been a terrifying decade.

Climate change effects have rattled all regions of the world at a faster pace than expected unleashing prolonged droughts, a sharp rise in epidemics and temperatures, as well as severe storms that have aggravated food insecurity.
The world has been scrambling for solutions to cope with disasters that have come with unpredictable pace of change, said by Jonathan First, Development Bank of Southern Africa lead specialist for production innovation, to be hitting the poorest economies the hardest.

“This is not a problem for the rich countries,” he said.

In Zimbabwe, one of the most pronounced effects of climate change has been the rapid decline in water levels at Lake Kariba due to drought, which has affected power generation in the country.

The country has capacity to generate 2 200MW of power, but due to the drop in water levels at the Kariba hydroelectric facility, only 800MW are being generated, leaving a 1 400MW gap that has to be met with imports.

In March, Zimbabwe was among three African countries, including Malawi and Mozambique, which were affected by cyclone Idai, which killed scores of people and displaced thousands.

Experts say the possibility of more such calamities cannot be ruled out, and facilities like CCF will be key in preparing the country for future natural disasters.

In Malawi and Mozambique, authorities are looking at the possibility of building stronger buildings and homes that withstand climate change.
Finance windows have been opened worldwide.

Establishment of project pipelines for funding climate change projects will be key if Zimbabwe is to catch up with many countries worldwide.

Namibia, South Africa, Rwanda and Ethiopia are among African countries that have established similar projects.