By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe has been urged to commence dialogue on energy efficiency and formulate policy that addresses issues to do with energy saving at domestic, industrial and community levels.
Shepard Zvigadza, Chairperson of the CSOs Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), said it is time Zimbabwe intensifies the green debate to speed up action on climate, energy and environment issues.
Zvigadza said there is need for lobbying and advocacy to generate public and political debate on energy efficiency issues.
“Energy efficiency talk should start from government, private sector, CSOs (civic society organisations) and the public including any other spheres. There is need for an energy efficiency policy and lobbying and advocacy work on that aspect should commence soon. Energy is linked to climate change and we should also focus on mainstreaming renewable energy issues in all the initiatives,” Zvigadza said.
He was speaking at a recent green industry and industrial energy efficiency forum held under the theme: Towards an industry of the future, in Harare under the auspices of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe (BCSDZ) in collaboration with HIVOS and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
Zvigadza said Zimbabwe will be launching a renewable energy policy in a few months. He said Zimbabwe does not have an energy efficiency policy hence the need for dialogue on the issue.
Governments play a vital role in driving industry to adopt energy saving and low carbon practice. Zvigadza said most countries with energy intensive industrial sectors now have energy efficiency policies.
The involvement of CSOs would help bridge the gap between energy decision makers and the consumers ultimately leading to greater awareness and greater uptake of energy efficient products.
According to Tawanda Muzamwese, the BCSDZ Director, since 2013 UNIDO, the Government of Zimbabwe and the BCSDZ, have been pursuing a green industry initiative.
Muzamwese said despite existing knowledge on energy efficiency, companies continue to face challenges in up-scaling it. The green industry initiative strives to green existing industries and create new green industries and strengthening energy efficiency and renewable energy use.
He noted that in line with the on-going efforts to meet the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS), Climate policy, Energy policy, among other national commitments, green industry approaches could steer industrial transformation and enable industry to become competitive.
Muzamwese said benefits from such initiatives include higher resource efficiency, cost savings, improved competitiveness as well as creation of green jobs.