Climate change mitigation in Zimbabwe and links to sustainable development

Dingane Sithole, Caroline Tagwireyi, Tendayi Marowa, Fadzai Muwidzi, Farai Mapanda, Walter Svinurai, Tatenda Gotore, Sekai Ngarize, Anderson Muchawona, Samantha Chigoverah, Gamuchirai Takavingofa, Kudzai Ndidzano, Lawrence Mashungu, Washington Zhakata, Tafadzwa Dhlakama, Christopher S. Malley*, Jessica Slater, Eve Palmer, Amy Molotoks, Chris WestJason Veysey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2021, Zimbabwe updated its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction target from a 33% reduction in per capita energy sector GHG emissions to a 40% reduction from all sectors, compared to 2030 baseline emission scenarios. This work aims to demonstrate how the actions identified in Zimbabwe's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) can achieve this updated target, and what development benefits could occur in Zimbabwe through the implementation of these actions. The magnitude of GHG emissions in Zimbabwe are modelled historically and to 2030 to quantify GHG emission reduction potentials, and contributions to selected sustainable development goal targets, from implementation of 28 mitigation measures. The estimated ∼37 million tonnes CO2-equivalent emissions emitted by Zimbabwe in 2017 are projected to increase by 109% to ∼77 million tonnes without implementation of any mitigation measures. The mitigation measures included in the updated NDC could reduce GHG emissions by 40% in 2030 compared to the baseline, while additional measures included in other plans and strategies in Zimbabwe could achieve a further 23% reduction. Implementing Zimbabwe's NDC could also lead to substantial development benefits locally, including to public health, biodiversity, and sustainable energy use. This assessment therefore provides a clear pathway to achieve Zimbabwe's updated climate change mitigation commitment, as the target is linked to the implementation of specific, concrete mitigation actions. It provides a practical example as to how methods to assess climate mitigation and development priorities can be integrated within climate change mitigation target-setting assessments. The more widespread adoption of prospective, quantitative assessment of development benefits from climate change mitigation actions could provide further motivation for more ambitious climate change action.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100891
Number of pages30
JournalEnvironmental Development
Early online date12 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the Nationally Determined Contribution Partnership (NDC Partnership) Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) for funding this work. A.M. and C.W. acknowledge the United Kingdom Research Institute (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund Transport , Development and the Environment Hub project ( ES/S008160/1 ) for funding their contribution to this work.


  • Climate change mitigation
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Nationally determined contribution
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Zimbabwe

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