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Zimbabwe Sectors

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

The mineral, metal and chemical industries are the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s industry sector with emissions intensive ferrochrome and cement production, and nitrogen fertiliser production dominating outputs.5,13 Even though these industries also tend to be energy intensive, their small scale in the country means the sector’s emissions – of 3.8% (when excl. LULUCF) – were a small proportion of Zimbabwe’s total emissions in 2017. Between 1990 and 2019 the carbon intensity of the industry followed a downward trend from 67 gCO₂/MJ to 37 gCO₂/MJ due in large part to a flagging economy and competition from cheaper fertiliser imports.5,13

Direct CO₂ emissions from the sector were just over 1 MtCO₂e in 2019. The low CDR reliance pathway has the sharpest decline and shows emissions at just above zero by 2030. Depending on the scenario, the industry sector would need to be decarbonised around the mid-2030s. Increasing electrification of the sector will be one of the levers to decarbonise, with scenarios indicating an increase from 39% in 2019 to just below 50% by 2030.

Process emissions have trended downward between 2000 and 2017 due to the decline in the performance of the industry sector and overall contraction of the economy.5 Process related emissions were about 1.2 MtCO₂e in 2019, but in contrast to direct emissions, these are projected to peak at 3.3 MtCO₂e in 2040 under low demand circumstances.

1 Ministry of Environment Climate Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Long-term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy (2020-2050). (2019).

2 Republic of Zimbabwe. Revised Nationally Determined Contribution. (2021).

3 Zimbabwe Power Company. Hwange Power Station – Zimbabwe Power Company.

4 Ministry of Environment Water and Climate. Zimbabwe’s Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (2016).

5 Ministry of Environment Climate Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Zimbabwe’s First Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC. (2020).

6 Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) 2021-2025. (2019).

7 UNDP. Bright days ahead as the National Energy Policy is unveiled in Zimbabwe. (2012).

8 Murwira, S. “No electricity for cooking”: Droughts in Zimbabwe cut the lights in poor households – climatetracker. Climate Tracker (2021).

9 Ministry of Energy and Power Development. National Renewable Energy Policy. (Ministry of Energy and Power Development, 2019).

10 South Africa’s Eskom supplies Zimbabwe with 400 megawatts of power | Africanews.

11 Ministry of Energy and Power Development. National Renewable Energy Policy. vol. 1 (2019).

12 WorldBank. Access to electricity (% of population) – Zimbabwe | Data. (2021).

13 IEA. Zimbabwe Country Profile. IEA – Countries & Regions. (2022).

14 See assumptions for the NDC quantification here:

15 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.

16 Global Forest Watch. Zimbabwe. GFW. (2022).

Zimbabweʼs energy mix in the industry sector

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Oil and e-fuels
  • Biomass
  • Biogas
  • Biofuel
  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen

Zimbabweʼs industry sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)


  • Historical emissions
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

Zimbabweʼs GHG emissions from industrial processes


  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible industry sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions, direct electrification rates, and combined shares of electricity, hydrogen and biomass from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Zimbabwe

Decarbonised industry sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
0 to 1
2034 to 2038
Share of electricity
45 to 55
58 to 84
62 to 91
Share of electricity, hydrogren and biomass
76 to 89
93 to 99
96 to 100