TAHA HASEEB (ABU DHABI)
The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), currently being held in the UAE, is an opportunity to highlight developmental experiences that are in harmony with the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement.
In Africa, Rwanda succeeded through Vision 2020 in making unprecedented developmental progress, making its capital, Kigali, the cleanest and safest in Africa, and Rwanda became the fastest-growing country on the continent.
Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda's Minister of Environment, in an interview with Aleithad, shared her country's experience in green growth and how the East African country developed its economic policy to keep up with global efforts to combat climate change.
Rwanda Vision 2050
Dr. Mujawamariya said that Rwanda's vision for 2050 focuses on a carbon-neutral economy capable of adapting to climate change. “This aligns with our national transformation strategy, which facilitates coordination between sectors for the smooth implementation of environmental policies and regulations. Our climate action plan aims to reduce emissions by 38% by 2030 compared to business as usual, which represents a significant reduction of 4.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The strategy for green growth and climate change adaptation enhances Rwanda's resilient development path and encourages green economic innovation,” she said.
Both the strategy and the climate action plan guide the country’s national investment policy to ensure coherence between Rwanda's development goals and its climate objectives, the Environment Minister added.
Regarding Rwanda's expectations for the outcomes of COP28, the Rwandan Minister of Environment noted that Rwanda's active participation in previous COP conferences was beneficial in highlighting the country as an ideal destination for green investments.
“COP28 is seen as an opportunity to stimulate a stronger commitment to ambitious climate action while showcasing diverse green investment opportunities within Rwanda. We look forward to launching initiatives and forming new partnerships that support Rwanda's climate action plan. The United Arab Emirates, as the host of this high-level conference, is an important partner. Therefore, we aim to further enhance and expand this strong partnership,” the Minister said.
Dr Mujawamariya expressed hope to see Rwanda reshaping the structure of global climate finance, moving from small projects to large, long-term investments that strengthen existing mechanisms. "Our focus is on facilitating partnerships between the public and private sectors, and attracting private sector investments. In addition, policy reforms aimed at addressing challenges arising from climate change and capacity development initiatives are vital for mitigating climate-related risks," she said.
John Mirenge, Rwanda's Ambassador to the UAE, said: "We commend the efforts of the United Arab Emirates in uniting the world with the aim of coming out of the promising COP28 with concrete results. Rwanda has confidence that COP28 will lead to ambitious climate action and reaffirm the collective determination to address climate change for the benefit of current and future generations."
The Ambassador added: “Rwanda has positioned itself as an advocate for climate action, and we look forward to participating and working with partners at COP28.”
Joining the discussions, Teddy Mugabo, CEO of the Rwanda Green Fund, pointed out that the Green Growth and Climate Strategy is a guide for national policy and planning in an integrated way, aiming to make climate change considerations mainstream in all sectors of the economy.
“This strategic stance seeks to enable Rwanda to access international financing and investments, crucial for achieving climate resilience and low-carbon development pathways. Our strategy focuses on four areas, each centred on two practical work programmes, covering sectors such as agriculture, tourism, energy, urban transformation, industry, and natural resource management,” Mugabo said.