The Financial Markets Indaba (FMI) in conjunction with The Herald’s sister publication, Business Weekly, will early next year convene a climate change adaptation investment conference to interrogate issues around climate financing at a time global economies are battling the adverse effects of weather dynamics.
The investment conference to be held in March in Harare, seeks to highlight the nexus between climate change and development in Zimbabwe, as well as to emphasise that building forward better from the Covid-19 pandemic requires a development approach that is green, sustainable and climate resilient.
This comes as Zimbabwe and the rest of the region have seen an increase in the severity of climate related disasters, threatening agriculture production and value chains.
In 2019, the country was hit by a tropical cyclone Idai which caused loss to human lives, infrastructure damages, disruption of value chains and trade.
FMI managing director Patrick Muzondo said although there was increasing awareness of climate change risks, adaptation to climate change was not yet a significant driver of action in the financial services.
“Climate risks tend to extend well beyond the time horizons that most institutional investors or insurers typically consider. Nevertheless, institutional investors, capital providers, allocators, operators and insurers have a significant stake in timely adaptation and climate resilience.
“Investors from the largest institutions to the smallest millennial retail saver — are increasingly concerned with ensuring that their investments across different asset classes have smaller environmental footprints and that these become better aligned with different environmental thresholds.
“To achieve the climate change adaptation goals, every company, every financial firm, every bank, insurer and investor will need to change their approach,” he said by email responses to questions.
President Mnangagwa has also emphasised Government’s commitment to reducing emissions by 40 percent before 2030, building on a previous commitment for a 33-percent emissions reduction set in 2017.
The new target will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 44,7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e) by 2030, 30 million tonnes lower and one of the routes to achieve that is through significant expansion of renewable energy sources with the aim to have 26,5 percent of all energy needs coming from renewable sources by 2030.
Investors are also increasingly recognising the threat posed by climate change to the global economy and are looking to structure their action and develop consensus on best practice. To do this, every financial decision needs to take climate into account.
This means companies need to be transparent about the risks and opportunities that climate change, and the shift to a net zero economy pose to their business.
Additionally, central banks and regulators need to make sure that financial systems can withstand the impacts of climate change and support the transition to net zero.
As such, the conference will discuss climate smart agriculture investment, impact of climate change on infrastructure, climate change and Infrastructure planning paying attention to sustainable urban management and smart cities.
Panellists will also discuss Zimbabwe’s approach to responsible mining, financing Zimbabwe’s mining sector — Investment partnerships with the international community to support economic growth as well as energy sector- financing climate change adaptation.