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Zimbabwe takes major step towards sustainable development with carbon credits trading regulations

News Desk

Zimbabwe has made significant progress in its commitment to sustainable development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the introduction of Carbon Credits Trading (General) Regulations, Statutory Instrument 150/2023. The regulations, which were gazetted by the government on August 18, 2023, provide a clear legal framework for the control and management of carbon credit trading projects in the country.

According to a statement released by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), the objective of these regulations is to ensure the sustainable development of Zimbabwe and its contribution to global efforts in combating climate change. By establishing a control mechanism for carbon credit trading, the government aims to reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

“On August 18, 2023, the Zimbabwean government, through the Minister responsible for Climate Change, gazetted the Carbon Credits Trading (General) Regulations, Statutory Instrument 150 of 2023. The regulations, which became effective upon being gazetted, were made in terms of Section 140(2)(c) of the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27].

“The objective of the regulations is to provide for the control and management of carbon credit trading projects in Zimbabwe. They are meant to provide the necessary legal framework for ensuring sustainable development and account for the country‚Äôs contribution towards global efforts to reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere,” read the statement.

Key features of the regulations include the establishment of a Designated National Authority (DNA) and a Carbon Credits Trading Committee. These institutions will play crucial roles in monitoring and managing carbon credit trading, with the Minister responsible for Climate Change overseeing the process to ensure that no carbon credits are exported from Zimbabwe without approval and proper accounting.

“The regulations provide for the establishment of a Designated National Authority (DNA) and a Carbon Credits Trading Committee as key institutions to control and manage carbon credit trading. The Minister plays a crucial role in ensuring that no carbon credit is exported from Zimbabwe without approval and being accounted for. Most importantly, the regulations provide for mandatory registration, monitoring, reporting, and verification of carbon credits, as well as the authorization of international transfers of carbon credits. They set out procedures for compliance with existing carbon credit projects, sharing and distribution of proceeds, suspension or cancellation of registration, establishment of a carbon credit registry, and set guidelines for stakeholder and public participation, sustainable development, and environmental integrity,” read the statement by ZELA.

Furthermore, the regulations stress the importance of mandatory registration, monitoring, reporting, and verification of carbon credits. This will provide transparency and ensure the credibility of carbon credit projects. The regulations also include provisions for the authorization of international transfers of carbon credits, compliance with existing projects, sharing and distribution of proceeds, the establishment of a carbon credit registry, as well as guidelines for stakeholder and public participation, sustainable development, and environmental integrity.

Prior to the introduction of these regulations, voluntary carbon credit projects were being implemented without a clear legislative framework in Zimbabwe. However, concerns regarding fraud, misleading information, money laundering, and a lack of transparency and accountability prompted the development of these regulations. Many countries around the world are also taking steps to regulate carbon credit offsetting or trading, with a particular focus on the voluntary carbon market sector.

ZELA emphasized that these regulations mark a significant milestone for Zimbabwe’s involvement in global climate financing efforts. Carbon credits are seen as a way for businesses to contribute to climate financing, but the lack of transparency and accountability within the market has raised concerns. The new regulations are designed to address these issues and ensure that Zimbabwe’s carbon credit trading is conducted in a responsible and sustainable manner.

“Mandatory registration, monitoring, reporting, and verification of carbon credits are emphasized, along with authorization for international transfers. The regulations also address the distribution of proceeds, the establishment of a carbon credit registry, and stakeholder participation.

“Prior to these regulations, voluntary carbon credit projects were being implemented without a clear legislative framework in Zimbabwe. The need for transparency, community benefits, and credibility prompted the development of these regulations under the Paris Agreement,” read the statement.

With the establishment of the DNA and Carbon Credits Trading Committee, along with the mandatory registration and verification procedures, Zimbabwe is now better equipped to participate in the carbon credit market.

These regulations signal the country’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and ensuring the rights of persons with albinism. By addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by this community, the government aims to create a more equitable society where no one is left behind.

Climate activists appreciate Zimbabwe’s efforts in implementing carbon credit trading regulations as a significant step towards sustainable development and addressing climate change. They highlight the economic and environmental benefits that can be achieved through this initiative, demonstrating their support for the country’s commitment to a greener future.

“With the implementation of carbon credits trading regulations, Zimbabwe is proving its commitment towards sustainable development and combating climate change. These regulations will not only help the country reduce its carbon footprint but also create economic opportunities for clean and renewable energy projects. It’s a step in the right direction and shows that Zimbabwe is serious about building a greener and more sustainable future,” said Anesu Mashangu.

“It’s encouraging to see Zimbabwe taking a major step towards sustainable development through carbon credits trading regulations. By placing a financial value on carbon emissions reductions, these regulations incentivize businesses to adopt cleaner practices and technologies. This move will not only contribute to global efforts in mitigating climate change, but it can also generate revenue for the country. It’s a win-win situation that promotes environmental responsibility while fostering economic growth,” added Rosemary Chiutsi.

Civil society organizations and advocates for persons with albinism have welcomed these regulations, recognizing them as an important milestone in the ongoing fight for the rights and equal representation of this community. They hope that these measures will encourage other countries to follow suit and implement similar policies to ensure the inclusion and equality of persons with albinism worldwide.

As the country takes this significant step towards inclusion, it is expected that the lives of persons with albinism will be positively impacted. Access to quality healthcare, education, employment opportunities, and full participation in society will become more attainable for this community, empowering them to thrive and contribute to the overall development of the nation.

With these regulations in place, the country is sending a powerful message that it stands firmly against discrimination and is committed to building a more inclusive society. By recognizing and valuing the rights and contributions of persons with albinism, the country hopes to set an example for the rest of the world, inspiring others to protect and promote the rights of all individuals, regardless of their physical appearance or abilities.

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