Role of Competition Policy and Law in Mitigating Climate Change
The international community commemorates the World Competition Day on the 5th of December, the day when the United Nations Conference on Restrictive Business Practices approved the United Nations Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices in 1980. The aim of the World Competition Day commemorations is to ensure that stakeholders globally, realise the potential benefits from an effectively implemented competition regime, and also play their role in making competition regimes work worldwide. This year’s celebrations are running under the theme “Competition Policy for Mitigating Climate Change”. Climate change is threatening our existence on mother earth and developing countries are bearing the brunt of its impact. This article discusses how competition policy can be used to mitigate climate change.
Legal and Policy Framework
Over the years, Zimbabwe has made significant strides to incorporate climate change issues in its national development agenda as witnessed by the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 and operationalized the UNFCCC by committing industrialized countries and economies in transition, to limit and reduce greenhouse gases emissions in accordance with agreed individual targets. The Kyoto Protocol also established a rigorous monitoring, review and verification system, as well as a compliance system to ensure transparency and hold Parties to account with regards to emission targets. The expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2020 necessitated the need for a new binding agreement to guide future efforts to address climate change, which saw the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement which is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016, with the goal to limit global warming.
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