According to the United Nations Classification system, Malawi is one of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) with its economy largely dependent on agriculture and a small industrial and mining sector (Environmental Affairs Department, 2000).
Levels of GHG emissions in Malawi are very low, amounting to 0.04% of the total global emissions in 2015. Despite this observation, Malawi Government, through this INDC, has expressed its intentions to contribute towards global efforts to reduce GHG emissions. Emission reduction efforts will concentrate in key sectors of forestry, agriculture and energy. Implementing all unconditional and conditional mitigation activities is expected to reduce the per capita emissions of Malawi from 1.4 t CO2e per capita in 2010 to around 0.7 to 0.8 t CO2e per capita in 2030 compared to expected business as usual emissions of around 1.5 t CO2e per capita in 2030. Potential reductions from the energy sector will be additional to the expected overall per capita GHG emissions reduction (Wieck-Hansen, Overgaard and Larsen, 2000). Malawi is currently preparing the Third National Communication to the UNFCCC, which will provide an updated national GHG inventory. Since the results of the new GHG inventory are not available as of yet, Malawi intends to contribute to climate change abatement by implementing mitigation activities, which only provide estimates of GHG reductions through this INDC. Malawi seeks support to improve the national GHG inventory system with a view to provide accurate baseline emissions in the future.
According the GHG inventories, studies on climate change vulnerability and adaptation, the technologies with high potential for Malawi development are as follows (Climate Technology Initiative, 2002):
I. Technologies in Power Generation (Energy Sector)
a) Solar photovoltaic
c) Mini/micro Hydro
e) Solar fired thermal (combined cycle)
II. Solar Thermal (Agriculture and Energy Sectors)
a) Solar drying (crops and fish, tobacco curing)
b) Solar Irrigation
c) Solar Greenhouse Heating
III. Biomass – Non-Power (Energy Sector)
a) Improved and efficient cook stoves
b) Improved charcoal production
c) Liquid bio fuel
IV. Demand Side Management (Industry Sector)
a) Industrial efficiency
V. Waste Technologies (Waste Management, Agriculture and Land Use Sectors)
a) Biomass Wastes – Sawdust stoves, briquettes, co-generation.
b) Animal and human waste – Biogas
c) Crop Residues