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04 November 2021

Rwanda Pledges emissions cut of 38% in its climate action plan by 2030

Rwanda as a signatory to the Paris Agreement under which countries are due to update or communicate their 2030 emission-reduction plans, it submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) the climate action plan known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC); and become the first country in Africa to submit its updated NDC before the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in 2021.

This NDC is an update of the first one; and it represents a more detailed and robust assessment of mitigation and adaptation measures in Rwanda; where the climate change mitigation involves reducing sources of greenhouse gases, or enhancing the sinks that accumulate and store these gases, while adaptation aims to reduce the vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change.

In this climate action plan; Rwanda’s total emissions are forecasted to more than double over 2015-2030 period rising from 5.3 million tGgCO2eq in the base year to 12 Million tGgCO2eq in 2030 under business as usual projection and it aims to reduce these emissions by 16%. However; subject to the technical and financial support, it could reduce its total emissions by 4.6 million tonnes of CO2 which is 38% compared with the business as usual baseline. This is in the line of contributing to the ambitious goal of limiting temperature rise to 2oC with efforts to reach 1.5oC agreed under the Paris Agreement.

This will be achieved through the deployment of hydro and solar energy, improving energy efficiency in industrial processes, introducing vehicle emission standards, rolling out electric vehicles and promoting on-farm biogas use.

As Rwanda is strongly reliant on rain-fed agriculture both for rural livelihoods, it also depends on hydropower in electricity generation, which are one of drivers of economic growth. Projections show an increasing variability in rainfall intensity for rainy seasons which is likely to cause floods and storms which can result in landslides, crop losses, health risks and damage to infrastructure. 

The environment minister Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya said that the “Country is already counting the cost of climate change. We have roadmap tragically lost more 140 citizens and more than 3000 homes due to floods and landslides this year alone”

To address this; the Nationally Determined contributions established the adaptation plan containing the measures across seven sectors including water, agriculture, land and forestry, human settlement, health, transport and mining to cope with climate impacts.

For the execution of NDC, Rwanda will need approximately 11 billion USD to limit its contribution to climate change and adapt to the consequences and achieve the full potential. This include 5.7 billion USD for mitigation and 5.3 billion USD for adaptation. It is expected that this funding will come from both domestic and external sources.

Also to implement this Nationally Determined Contribution; the way of measure, report and verify (MRV) the emissions reduction was set. This MRV will enable Rwanda to monitor the effectiveness of its mitigation and adaptation measures and facilitating its access to climate finance. This will help to design mitigation strategies, and enhance credibility and take other necessary policy actions.

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