The Rwandan government’s Paris Agreement Intended Nationally Determined Contributions commitment has been the driving force behind the establishment of up to 100 solar photovoltaic mini-grids in rural communities.
The mini-grid plan is an essential element in implementing the climate change Paris Agreement signed by the government of Rwanda. Speaking at the signing ceremony at the United Nations in New York on Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said Rwanda is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change that need to build a climate resilient economy.
Paris Agreement requires sustainable approach
Increasing renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuel energy are considered a big factor in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming.
Rwanda’s action plan include sustainable small-scale energy installations, which target rural communities that depend mainly on kerosene for their lighting needs, wood fuel and agriculture residues for their cooking needs.
Mushikiwabo explained: “Rwanda has taken a proactive approach. We put the environment and climate change at the heart of all we do. We were the first country to ban plastic bags and commit to nationwide landscape restoration. Every year, Rwandans plant millions of trees to protect our forests, rivers and wetlands.”
[quote]Minister Mushikiwabo reiterated that Rwanda’s Vision 2020 and Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy will see the country become a developed, climate resilient and low carbon economy by 2050.
However, she added: “To reach the goals set by the agreement; support to the least developing countries through increased levels of climate finance and technology transfer must be put in place. This will enable robust action in our countries.”
Rwanda’s Green Fund
The Paris Agreement will come into effect after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have signed their instruments of ratification. Minister of Natural Resources, Vincent Biruta said that signing the Paris Agreement “pushes our step to prepare ratification instruments allowing legal adoption and implementation”.
He added that Rwanda had created a Green Fund, which has now mobilised over $100 million to support green investments and climate resilience initiatives across the country.
The fund invests in public and private projects that have the potential for transformative change and that support Rwanda’s commitment to building a green economy.