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Namibia Current situation

What is Namibiaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Emissions profile

Namibia’s total emissions (reported as incl. gross LULUCF emissions) increased by 8% 1990-2016 from 19.7 MtCO₂e/yr to 21.3 MtCO₂e/yr, and are projected to rise to 24.2 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 in the government’s business as usual scenario presented in the 2021 updated NDC.1

Since 1990, the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector consistently produced most of Namibia’s emissions. For instance, in 2016 AFOLU emissions accounted for 80% of total GHG emissions, followed by those from the energy (17%), industrial processes (2%), and waste sectors (0.8%). Industrial process emissions became the third largest source in 2005, overtaking waste. Over time, emissions from the energy and industrial process sectors have rapidly increased from a low baseline, whereas waste emissions have increased more gradually.2

While agriculture is a source of GHGs emissions, it is a strategically important sector which employs about a third of the workforce and impacts more than 70% of the population. In contrast, total reported removals from land use changes increased from 90 MtCO₂e/yr in 1990 to 127 MtCO₂e/yr in 2016.2 These removals exceed Namibia’s GHG emissions across all sectors, meaning that Namibia is a net GHG sink according to its national GHG inventory.

1 Republic of Namibia. Namibia’s NDC Update. (2021).

2 Republic of Namibia. Fourth Biennial Update Report (BUR4) to the UNFCCC. (2021).

3 Ministry of Mines and Energy. National Energy Policy. (2017).

4 United Nations Environment Programme. Atlas of Africa Energy Resources. (2017).

5 IEA. Data & Statistics – IEA. consumption&indicator=ElecConsPerCapita (2021).

6 Net Zero Tracker. Namibia profile. (2022).

7 Ministry of Mines and Energy. National Renewable Energy Policy. (2017).

8 IRENA. Energy Profile: Namibia. (2022).

9 Namibia Power Corporation. NamPower – Ruacana Power Station. (2022).

10 Republic of Namibia. Fourth National Communication to the UNFCCC. (2020).

11 There is no data for the commercial and public buildings sector before 1996.

12 Note that a Carbon Tax – starting at N$40 per g/km of CO₂ in the 2016-2020 transition period – is mentioned in the 4th Biennial Update Report (BUR4), published in early 2021, however, there is no mention of any extension in the NDC submitted to the UNFCCC in late 2021.

Namibiaʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Transport
  • Other
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Buildings
  • Power
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Agriculture
  • Industry (processes)
  • Waste
Energy (17%)0

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

Energy supply in Namibia does not meet demand. In the decade to 2017, Namibia imported nearly 60% of its electricity supply, mostly from South Africa where electricity is predominantly produced using coal, as well as Zimbabwe and Zambia.3

As of 2012, access to electricity in urban areas was 94%, but only 15% in rural areas.4 The National Energy Policy (2017), acknowledges the constraints that a lack of sufficient energy supply imposes on GDP growth and has outlined measures to increase investment in energy infrastructure, research and development and to enhance energy efficiency awareness.3

Imported liquid fuels, including petrol and diesel, dominate the energy mix in Namibia. Oil products accounted for 68% of total final energy consumption in 2020 and are predominantly used in the transport sector, which is unsurprising given that Namibia’s territory is vast, with mining, industry and trading activity centred in relatively isolated pockets of urbanisation that are widely dispersed.5

Electricity follows with 19% of net consumption, which is largely generated by hydropower and solar PV.5 Biofuels and waste, mostly traditional biomass, accounted for 12% of final consumption and supply nearly all energy in the building sector.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Unconditional NDC Target:

  • 14% below its business as usual scenario by 2030 (incl. LULUCF). In the business as usual scenario GHGs emissions are projected to rise up to 24 MtCO₂e.
  • Re-expressed to exclude LULUCF: 26% reduction below 2015 levels by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).

Conditional NDC Target:

  • 77% below its business as usual scenario by 2030 (incl. LULUCF), equivalent to 24.1 MtCO₂e
  • Re-expressed to exclude LULUCF: 34% below 2015 levels by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).

Market mechanism

  • In 2016, Namibia adopted a transportation carbon tax with a transition period from 2016-2020 and starting at N$40 per g/km of CO₂ emitted – limited to certain vehicle categories. The scope is expected to cover all vehicle categories by 2030.2

Long-term target

  • A more general net zero target is under discussion in the country.6

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • By the year 2030, Namibia shall strive to ensure that renewable energy generates 70% (or more) of the electricity in the country.7


  • A target of net zero emissions from methane in the waste sector by 2050, with the aim to “achieve 75% of the target by 2030”.1


  • The NDC update states that emissions reductions of 78.7% below business as usual (BAU) of the total 91% reduction from BAU in 2030 will take place in the AFOLU sector (an estimated reduction of 19 MtCO₂e in 2030).