Zimbabwe Green Jobs Assessment Report

This study assess the social, employment and economic impacts of Zimbabwe’s climate policies. Impacts on the labour market, gender, economic growth and emissions are assessed. Renewable energy policies dominate investments notably into hydropower and solar power, resulting in the largest employment gains of all planned policies with a total of around 350,000 by 2035.

However, a main finding from the assessment is that while the total size of the investment matters, the type of investment is even more crucial. The total number of jobs created or lost in 2035 per million dollar-invested reveals that the biogas programme could create some 130 jobs economy-wide compared to only 25 and 100 jobs for commercial solar the Batoka hydro dam respectively.

At the same time, the agriculture, forestry and land use sector is by far the largest source of emissions in Zimbabwe. Biogas and improved cookstoves offer a low-cost solution to reduce emissions while creating employment. A $1 million investment in the production of energy efficient cookstoves would create more than 850 jobs. However, work in firewood collection would decline by some 450 full-time equivalent jobs per $1 million invested, notably for women.

The study concludes with evidence based policy advice for Just transition policies to accompany Zimbabwe’s climate policies. Social protection is required for any income losses of firewood depending households, and notably women. In addition, women switching to clean cooking alternatives, who save time from firewood collection, should be offered skills training and agricultural extension services to increase productivity in climate-smart and conservation farming, notably through high yield organic fertilizer production. The renewable energy policies should be coupled with relevant occupations integrated in the Technical Vocational Training System.