In contrast to the growing number of countries seeking to wean themselves off coal, Zimbabwe is opening new coal mines that authorities say will allow the country to meet its energy needs and, eventually, become an exporter of the polluting fuel. The government is looking to turn the northwest district of Hwange into a coal hub, with private investors, mostly based in China, investing up to $1bn to build coking mines and thermal coal power plants. But environmentalists say the move — part of a bigger plan to grow mining into a $12bn industry by 2023 — will increase Zimbabwe’s climate-warming carbon emissions and harm the wildlife in its largest natural reserve. In a hard-hitting report released earlier in August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pointed the finger squarely at the burning of fossil fuels by humans as one of the main drivers of global warming, warning it is already too late to stop decades of future climate disruptions.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE