Rwanda Revises Green Growth Strategy

The Ministry of Environment is revising the Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS) that was developed ten years ago.

The strategy is keen on positioning Rwanda as a developed, climate-resilient and low-carbon economy by 2050.

It focuses on sustainable agriculture, water resource management, renewable energy, green industry, climate-compatible mining, green transport, low carbon urban settlements, ecotourism, forestry, disaster management and others.

Faustin Munyazikwiye, the Deputy Director-General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), said that the strategy's review was based on the 2018 evaluation and lessons learned in implementing the current strategy.

The evaluation recommended updating the programmes of actions, align it with more recent national policies and commitments, establish realistic and targeted implementation plans and improve costing information to allow for more accurate budgeting.

The review, he said, is setting up clear targets that have to be achieved and costs for implementing the strategy up to 2050.

"Vision 2050 which is Rwanda's development agenda has to be aligned with the 2050 green growth agenda to avoid incoherence.

For instance, in the green growth strategy, we had not included the targets of hectares to be irrigated by 2050. We had not included renewable energy targets in our green growth strategy which must be used at 60 per cent by 2020," he said.

He noted that the clear targets will help to monitor the implementation progress.

Cost of green growth efforts

Munyazikwiye that the strategy now includes the implementation plan and the cost though they are still being reviewed by the technical team.

He said currently Rwanda only knows the cost for the 10-year climate programme which is $11 billion to be implemented up to 2030 adding, "we are also calculating the cost for implementing the green growth strategy up to 2050 because when we initially developed the strategy we had not included the whole cost for implementing this strategy."

The assessment of strategy implementation in the past ten years indicated that costing showing needed additional budget apart from Business-as-Usual (BAU) budget for the strategy had been only conducted for the backbone sectors of the economy namely energy, water and agriculture, forestry and agroforestry up to 2030.

However, it found that the costs have not even been used for the intended planning purposes adding there was also inadequate human capacity for developing bankable projects to help implement the strategy.

Munyazikwiye said that calculating the cost needed for all programmes of actions in the strategy will guide the government to know funds that need to be mobilized for the strategy implementation up to 2050.

Maxwell Gomera, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda said that UNDP Rwanda has so far granted over $7.5 million to support the implementation of the strategy.

Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, the Minister for Environment, said that more potential funding opportunities need to be identified.

"The eight programmes of actions of the strategy will rely on enabling pillars to support its implementation including finance, capability, training as well as digital transformation and innovation," she said.

$10,275 million for Transport, energy

REMA says energy and transport sectors still need financial and technical boost.

According to the costing, low-carbon climate-resilient energy and transport systems require $6,875 million from Public sector funding and $ 3,400 million in private sector investment by 2050 as a long-term transition.

Director General of REMA Juliette Kabera said such needed investment will help to have a diversified and green power sector powering citizens, businesses and industry.

She said that it will also ensure a thriving personal electric vehicle market alongside highly efficient internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles making efficient use of local biofuel technologies (a fuel derived immediately from living matter).

She said there is a need for both private and public investment in renewable energy for lighting and alternative energy for cooking, sustainable urban infrastructure and climate-resilient agriculture that requires solar-powered irrigation.

Government projects that by 2024 every Rwandan should have access to electricity and other forms of power and also reduce its dependence on the use of biomass from 79.9 per cent in 2018 to 42 per cent by 2024.

Ron Weiss, the CEO of Rwanda Energy Group (REG) reiterated that areas of emphasis would be in off-grid connection in terms of solar power connection support as well as support in energy-efficient cooking stoves and cooking gas to reduce biomass use.

Dorothea Groth, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy in Kigali said: "There is a need for mechanisms to improve financing, design bankable projects and also identify where resources can be obtained."

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