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Zim readies to strengthen green procurement policies

By Tendai Guvamombe

PARTIES under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change are working round the clock to achieve the global target of 2 degrees temperature reduction by 2030 through mitigation measures.

Developed nations, also known as Annex 1 countries are already drifting away from the use of fossil fuels and emitting substances towards adoption of clean technologies such as solar and wind in which energy efficiency will be key.

Should Africa persist on a Business as Usual Scenario(BaU) the business mode will inevitably suffer the ordeal of lagging behind global markets. This comes at a time when the European Union (EU) already adopted green procurement policies to accelerate high demand in environmentally friendly products.

As developing countries are implementing sterner measures to mitigate climate change, it is prudent for them to adopt the green procurement policy framework to advance smart strategies.

This further ensures that developing countries will be spared from incidental loses where service stations, fuel driven vehicles among other outdated technologies will be considered junk assets.

Against such a background, the Government of Zimbabwe in partnership with UNDP conducted a Green Procurement Training Workshop in Kadoma from 28-30 September 2020.

The week-long training programme incorporated experts from the Procurement Regulatory of Zimbabwe (PRAZ), Ministry of Energy, Mines and Development, Local Government and Public Works, local authorities and representatives from youth organizations.

The main objective was to pave way for the infusion of green issues around the processes of procurement as well as to influence markets for environment-friendly products, services technologies and innovative solutions.

The engagement revealed that Zimbabwe still lags behind in the adoption of public green procurement due to low capacity implementation and lack of an appropriate legislative framework.
South Africa, a regional counterpart adopted public green procurement through the launch of National Climate Change Response White Paper of 2011. Today the City of Cape Town and eThekwini Metropolitan have embedded the progressive green procurement into their supply chain management.

In Zimbabwe’s case, public procurement accounts to 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the adoption of Green (Sustainable) procurement will present huge investment opportunities under the low emissions development strategy (LEDS).

“As PRAZ we are going to work with Climate Change Management Department and other stakeholders to identify the different products needed by the government, the likes of motor vehicles, agricultural equipment, road construction among others. For each category of products will have environmental considerations as part of the procurement policies.

“Without those standards it becomes difficult for procurement practitioners to implement policies that promotes Public Green Procurement. We need to classify goods that we buy in terms of emissions standards and our sellers will be made aware of these standards,” said Cliff Gondo, PRAZ’s Director of Capacity Building.

Nesbert Samu Principal Director and Programmes Coordinator with the Parliament of Zimbabwe reiterated that climate change mitigation and adaptation requires PRAZ to play a role in adopting green procurement legislative frameworks ahead of government policies.

“Efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, within the Government of Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 and inclusive growth agenda frameworks, require critical entities, such as the PRAZ, to not only implement the existing instruments, but also advance green issues in all the procurement process.”

Lawrence Mashungu, a Climate Change expert in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality said adoption of public green procurement is in tandem with national climate polices and will go a long way in achieving sustainable development.

“The green procurement is in line with our National Climate Policy, Nationally Determined Contributions, Low Emissions Development Strategy. The green procurement will be instrumental within the context of Vision 2030 and related government programmes. It will also contribute towards sustainable development, improve value for money, efficiency, responsiveness to recipient needs and cost containment in the government procurement processes.”

Globally, Public Green Procurement has maximized advantages which include raising of awareness, expansion of green markets, environmental, social and economic benefits.

Tendai Guvamombe