CCAC Partner since

Malawi joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) in 2023. The country’s focus is currently on phasing down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment, cutting methane emissions in its agriculture and waste sectors, and reducing the use of burnt bricks in construction.

Malawi is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), acceded to the Kyoto Protocol in 1995, and signed and ratified the Paris Agreement in June 2017. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change through the Environmental Affairs Department is the focal point for the convention. 

Malawi also ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 2017. Phase Two of the Malawi Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) began implementation in 2021 with UNEP and UNIDO support for the Government of Malawi. Malawi participates in regional and international conferences such as the Conference of Parties and others.

In 2020, Malawi published its long term national development plan, Malawi 2063. This plan succeeded Malawi Vision 2020 and “aims to transform Malawi into a wealthy and self-reliant industrialised ‘upper middle-income country’ by the year 2063.” It outlines ten objectives, with the tenth setting the goal of an environmentally sustainable economy. Sustainable management of the environment includes waste management, air and water pollution management, and water resource management. Ensuring a healthy population and environmental sustainability are identified as key enablers for fulfilling key objectives.

Malawi 2063 will be implemented through a set of 10-year medium implementation plans beginning with 2021-2030 Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP-1).  MIP-1 replaced Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MGDS3). MIP-1 sets a target for the nation's carbon footprint (kt) to be below 10,000 kt in the year 2030 even with industrialisation.

The MIP-1 encourages the implementation of programs and projects that focus on: Waste Management and Green Economy: Climate Change Management; Environment and Climate Change financing; and Natural Disasters and Climate Adversities Preparedness. In line with the global effort to limit Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) emissions to 2 Degrees Celsius as enshrined in the Paris Agreement, Malawi updated and communicated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC in 2021.

The NDC outlines the climate mitigation and adaptation measures that will be undertaken up to 2040 which will be revised every five years to take into account emerging issues. The current NDC has identified three key gases including methane as greenhouse gases to be earmarked for emission reduction in key sectors. The NDC is supported  by an Implementation Plan; Mainstreaming Guidelines; a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Framework; and a Resource Mobilisation Strategy to help with implementation, tracking and reporting of the NDC.

Other climate plans and policies include the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), National Climate Change Response Framework (NCCRF) developed in 2015 and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) currently being prepared. The 2016 National Climate Change Management Policy provides strategic direction for Malawi's climate change priorities and outlines an institutional framework for the application and implementation of adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and capacity building measures. The Policy is supported by an Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy to ensure effective implementation and clear definition of roles by key sectors.

The National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP), developed in 1994 and revised in 2002, provides a framework for integrating environmental protection and management in all national development programmes with the view to achieving sustainable socioeconomic development. Its key objectives are to document and analyse all major environmental issues, identify measures to alleviate them, and to promote sustainable use of natural resources. The NEAP applies to several sectors including waste management.

The Environment Management Act (EMA) No.19 of 2017 provides for development of guidelines and prescribe measures for the control and management of factors affecting climate change including prescribing measures for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and also measures to enhance greenhouse gas sinks. Additionally, the Act provides for requirements for the management of waste. The Act gives the relevant Minister the ability to prescribe environmental quality standards, including for air, water, soil, effluent and solid waste.

National Environmental Policy 2004 states that every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment and has the duty to promote and maintain a clean environment. It builds upon the NEAP by seeking to: promote the efficient use and management of natural resources; facilitate the rehabilitation and management of essential ecosystems and ecological processes; enhance public awareness of the importance of sound environmental management; and promote cooperation between government, local communities, women, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector in relation to the sustainable use and management of natural resources and the environment.

The National Environmental Policy includes a section on air quality and climate change with the objective of minimising the adverse impacts of climate change and variability, and of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It identifies measures to achieve this objective including: reducing air pollution to provide a healthy and sustainable environment for socioeconomic development; reducing GHG emissions to prevent climate interference; controlling localised air pollution, especially in the urban environment, so as to reduce incidences of airborne diseases and other health risks; controlling bush fires to reduce air pollution; developing an air quality database and monitoring system; developing and promoting alternative energy sources to wood fuel; enacting a Clean Air Act; developing and enforcing clean air regulations; assessing and monitoring impacts of climate change; promoting regional and international cooperation on transboundary atmospheric air pollution; reducing GHG emissions from the transport and manufacturing sectors; and maintaining a National Ozone Protection Unit and enacting appropriate legislation to support the Unit’s mandate.

Malawi’s 2008 Environment Management (Waste Management and Sanitation) Regulations complement the National Environmental Policy. These regulations outline the roles, responsibilities, processes, and requirements for the management of different types of waste, including transboundary movement of waste. It also contains a provision on polluters’ responsibility to pay for damages linked to water, air, or land pollution resulting from human activities.

Malawi published a National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) for the period of 2019 to 2023. The Strategy sets out priorities to be pursued in Malawi to minimise the detrimental impact on human health and the environment arising from poor waste management and to improve waste management. These are: to formulate policies and enact legislation to reduce waste generation; promote responsible public behaviour on waste management; promote waste separation at source; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover energy from waste; promote waste treatment; and establish environmentally sound infrastructure and systems for waste management.


  • The 2017 Malawi Renewable Energy Strategy set priorities and actions to achieve universal access to renewable electricity and a sustainable bioenergy sector. It focuses on increasing grid-scale renewables, clean energy mini grids, off-grid solar, and bioenergy. By 2025, it sets the target of having at least 50 operational clean energy mini grids. The Strategy also aims to increase the sustainability of fuels, setting targets for the percentage of bioethanol in petrol to reach 20 percent by 2025 and the percentage of biodiesel in the total diesel supply to equal 30 percent by 2030.
  • The Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP) operates under the Rural Electrification Act of 2004, which has also established the Rural Electrification Fund. MAREP takes the objective of increasing access to electricity for people in peri-urban and rural areas to 30 percent by 2030 as part of Government’s effort to reduce poverty, transform rural economies, improve productivity and improve the quality of social services.
  • The Malawi Electricity Act 2004 makes provisions for the regulation of the generation, transmission, distribution, sale, importation and exportation, use and safety of electricity and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It outlines the responsibility of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority to issue licenses for operation in the electricity sector. The Electricity Amendment Act, 2016 led to the Power Market Restructuring by establishing Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) responsible for transmission and distribution of electricity and Single Buyer functions; and Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) responsible for generation of electricity. The amendment also opened up the Electricity market for participation by Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
  • While the 2003 National Energy Policy led to the creation of Malawi’s energy regulator and guided energy sector development, including renewable energies up to 2016, the 2017 National Energy Policy set its objectives to: make the energy sector robust and efficient; catalyse a more liberalised and competitive private sector-driven energy industry; and shift from national dependency on biomass to a more modern energy mix.


  • The Environment Management Act, 2017 provides for pollution control and regulation of waste, including hazardous waste. It regulates the handling, storage, transportation, classification of wastes and the importation and exportation of hazardous waste. The Act subscribes to the polluter pays principle and places the responsibility of preventing discharge or emission of any pollutant into the environment, including the removal or disposal of any pollutant, on the polluter. The Act further provides for requirement of licenses to discharge any effluent, as well as to emit any gas or other pollutants into the atmosphere.
  • Local Government Act, 1998, provides for a local authority to establish, maintain and manage services for the collection, removal, disposal and protection of solid and liquid waste. Secondly, it regulates the provision, construction, use, maintenance and repair of drains, latrines and receptacles for solid and liquid waste.
  • The Water Resources (Water Pollution Control) Regulations, 2018 aim to control water pollution and additionally provides for conformity to standards set by the Malawi Bureau of Standards.
  • The Environment Management (Waste Management and Sanitation) Regulations, 2008 specifically provide for waste management and sanitation. The regulations provide for management of general or municipal solid waste including: waste separation at source, collection of the general or municipal solid waste and disposal. Additionally, they provide for solid waste recycling and recycling facilities. Further, regulations provide for municipal liquid waste and also management of hazardous waste.
  • Malawi published its Environment Management (Plastics) Regulations, 2015 to regulate the importation, production, trade, and commercial distribution and use of plastics, plastics bags and plastic sheets made of thin plastics.
  • Strategy on persistent organic pollutants (National Implementation Plan (NIP) for the management of persistent organic pollutants

Malawi is a party to Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and has since developed two National Implementation Plans (NIPs) in 2004 and 2019 respectively. The objectives include elimination of the use of PCBs and equipment containing PCBs, reducing the production, importation, exportation and use of stockpiles and wastes of POPs pesticides; raising awareness among policy and decision-makers, stakeholders and interested groups and the general public; and improve technical and financial capacity for the management of POPs. Currently, the 2019 NIP is set to undergo a review and update.


Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change

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