June 23-27 2020. As countries look to determine the economic impact of climate action, Zimbabwe recently launched a green jobs assessment to support improvements of the national climate plan or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Zimbabwe is the second country besides Nigeria, who is currently piloting such an initiative with support from UNDP and the International Labor Organization (ILO). The analysis will assess the social and employment dimensions of Zimbabwe’s Long-term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy (2020-2050). A national Green Jobs Assessment Model will be developed to measure the impact of climate measures on key development indicators such as GDP, employment, skills, income distribution and inequality and gender inequality . The outcomes of the assessment and its process of multi-stakeholders dialogues will guide Zimbabwe in fostering evidence-based NDC policy making and a just transition.
The green job assessment comes at a critical juncture for Zimbabwe as the country is developing a 5-year National Development Strategy and is revising its NDCs against the backdrop of a global pandemic.
A virtual inception workshop, bringing together government representatives from across different Ministries and other stakeholders, was initiated to launch green jobs assessment.
There is a need to analyse the employment, social and environmental impacts of the transition to help inform critical policy decisions, noted Mr. Washington Zhakata, Director of the Climate Change Management Department, upon opening the virtual workshop,. The assessment comes at an opportune as the government is in the process of revising the NDC and concurrently developing a long-term strategy to reduce emissions (LEDS) as well as formulating a 5-year National Development Strategy. With the analysis, Zimbabwe will examine the potential of proposed climate policies for economic multipliers and job creation.
“With the inevitable rise in unemployment that the economic impacts of Covid-19 will result in, an economic rebound based on resilience and powered by the country’s abundant clean energy resources can create more jobs, enhance trade and contribute to global climate action, while addressing the country’s chronic energy access challenge”, highlighted Mr. Georges van Montfort, UNDP Resident Representative.
The growing interest, among both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, in the social dimensions of climate action was further acknowledged by Ms. Hopolang Phororo, the Director of the ILO Country Office for Zimbabwe and Namibia. Zimbabwe is among the first countries in the world to take a comprehensive review of its NDCs, supported by a Just Transition dialogue and green job assessment.
A Nationally driven process - Zimbabwe looks at how a transition to a net-zero carbon economy can be just and inclusive for all.
The analysis will focus on Zimbabwe’s four main NDC sectoral groups - Energy, Waste, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), Waste, and Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU). The inception workshop initiated a national dialogue to define policy questions (scope), build societal consensus on the goal and pathways to sustainability, and agree on institutional setups for implementation. Participants also learned about the elements of the Green Job assessment model as well as the key social and employment dimension of NDC policies.
As a result, participants were able to identify vulnerable population groups and the types of socio-economic impact that may be experienced. Participants also discussed policy questions, outcome indicators, key data requirements and availability, and institutional arrangements and workplans to roll out the Green Jobs Assessment.
The workshop brought together over 45 representatives from different ministries and other stakeholders including youth organizations, research institutes, trade and labour unions, Civil Society Organizations, and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission. Relevant NDC ministries including ministry of environment, finance, industry, labour, women, agriculture, energy, transport and others participated in the workshop demonstrating strong interest and societal ownership of the NDC process in Zimbabwe.
A national policy team will be established building on the existing NDC steering committee structure to steer the assessment process and guide the national research team. Once a nationally owned macroeconomic model is built and validated, NDC policy scenarios will be assessed and refined based on the results. Beyond support for the assessment, UNDP will provide long-term capacity development support to the national institutions to sustain both the research and policy-making process.
The green jobs assessment is being delivered through the NDC Support Programme, which is funded by the European Union and the Governments of Germany and Spain as a contribution to the NDC Partnership and UNDP’s Climate Promise.