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women in lusaka collecting waste from dampsites


Energy Environment and Climate Change


Climate change 

Ensuring environmental sustainability has remained a challenge for Zambia, with high rates of deforestation and low access to clean drinking water, sanitation and renewable energy. Since the mid-2000’s, UNDP has augmented government and local community efforts in community-based natural resources management, reducing the impacts of climate change through, for example, the introduction of alternative livelihoods, and the promotion of renewables. At the institutional level, increased coordination of climate change issues has been facilitated through support to the national Climate Change Policy and National Climate Change Response Strategy, which guides the country`s response to climate change. This closely partnered work has also contributed to the effective mainstreaming of climate change issues in the Seventh National Development Plan.

We support the people of Zambia to implement the commitments to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Our work focuses on strengthening the institutional and legal frameworks with relevant Ministries and private sector responsible for implementing initiatives towards climate change adaptation and mitigation. As an accredited entity to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), we work with Government and private sector to limit or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change through the promotion of paradigm shifts to low-emission and climate-resilient pathways.

Natural resource management

We work with the Government, private sector and development partners to ensure that land, water, biodiversity and carbon sinks are protected from threats and effectively managed by national and local institutions, communities and economic actors by using sustainable forestry, wildlife, land, water and healthcare waste management practices.  We promote the use of innovative nature-based solutions for economic growth and environmental sustainability while supporting Zambia’s commitments to the global agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to have a meaningful impact on people’s lives including reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) to protect forest and sustain the livelihood of the people who depend on them.

Access to renewable energy 

The energy mix for Zambia is dominated by wood fuel which accounts for about 70% of fuel consumption, while electricity and petroleum account for about 10% and 9% respectively. Currently, more than 90% of electricity in Zambia comes from hydro power generation although less than 50% of the potential has been exploited. UNDP is working with partners to strengthen the legislative environment to promote private sector engagement in renewable energy, as well as strengthening institutions in scaling up the use of renewable energy. Transitioning to renewable energies will contribute to Zambia making progress on its obligations to the Paris Agreement.