ZAMI 2023 to discuss the linkages between climate change, mining, and transitional minerals


06 October 2023

Climate change poses an existential threat to the way of life through the increase of climate change-induced disasters such as extreme weather events leading to flooding and droughts. While Zimbabwe’s greenhouse gas emissions are low in comparison to other developed countries, the country’s vulnerabilities are exacerbated by low socioeconomic infrastructure and development. Some of the critical contemplations for Zimbabwe involve when this will happen, how it will happen, and if there are the necessary elements to implement its energy transition. Additionally, understanding the key players, their interests, and a relative consensus on how the energy transition should be approached in Zimbabwe is crucial.

Despite the collective efforts to address climate change issues through mitigation, the government launched the USD12 billion economy by 2023 as part of the broader

macroeconomic roadmap towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030. [1] The industry is dependent on lithium, iron ore, coal, chrome, platinum, gold, and other metals. The expansion of mining projects will result in a greater need for energy for mining operations and coal for the production of electricity in a nation that mostly generates power through thermal sources. In addition, the mining industry contributes to climate change owing to its energy-intensive supply chain through the use of large trucks that use fossil fuels. The country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) call for a 40% reduction in GHG emissions, but greater reliance on coal for electricity generation will raise GHG emissions and jeopardize that goal. In Zimbabwe, very few mining companies comply with sustainability reporting compared to those that are bound by the regulations of the foreign stock exchanges that they are listed on. The absence of clear laws that compel mining companies to actively contribute towards a low-carbon economy, coupled with weak regulation, poses a great challenge for Zimbabwe’s achievement of its climate ambitions. This places Zimbabwe in a precarious position to honor its commitments to reduce GHG emissions in line with its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate and Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. It is necessary to deliberate whether there is adequate regulation, strategy, or policy by the government towards achieving a just transition or obliging mining companies to practice decarbonization or adopt practices that limit increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Against this background, ZELA is convening a side session to interface communities with policymakers, mining companies, civil society organizations, and other critical stakeholders to unpack the emerging issues of climate change, mining, and transitional minerals. This side session is aimed at developing necessary advocacy positions on these critical issues.


  1. To discuss the linkages between climate change, mining, and transitional minerals.
  2. To facilitate multi-disciplinary knowledge-sharing and learning leading to quality policy-making, programmatic implementation, and policy research in as far as national policies on climate change, mining, and transitional minerals


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