About

For years, Rwanda has been paving a path to green growth by integrating action on climate and clean air into their development agenda. Since 2016, they’ve done this work in partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), standing out as a leader that is tackling short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) on multiple fronts. Among them is that in 2020, Rwanda started extraction and utilization of landfill gas for power generation from partially or fully controlled urban landfills as part of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), or the national commitment to climate change mitigation. This will reduce methane emissions, avoid carbon emissions from fossil-based electricity use, and mitigate the public health effects of unmanaged waste. The same year, Rwanda began work improving livestock husbandry through more nutritious feed and increased training in improved livestock management as part of the Rwanda Livestock Master Plan. This will both reduce methane emissions and increase the country’s food security through increased yields.

In 2020, Rwanda also became the first government in Africa to submit a stronger climate target to the United Nations, committing to slashing emissions by at least 16 percent by 2030. Rwanda is also phasing out the use of clamp kilns and applying energy efficiency measures in the brick manufacturing industry.  

The country has an innovative environment and climate change investment fund, the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA), which invests in public and private projects that help build a strong green economy and provides expert technical assistance to help those investments succeed. Rwanda is also partnered with the Climate Investment Fund to invest in rural off-grid energy solutions, disaster resilience, and climate mitigation.

Rwanda is also a global leader on the Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phase-down under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and efficient cooling. Rwanda further helped kick off the CCAC’s Initiative on Efficient Cooling, which they launched at the G7 Environment Ministers Meeting in 2019 along with France, Japan, and Nigeria. 

“Energy efficiency in cooling lacks the serious attention that it deserves. We can save $2.9 trillion in operating costs and double our climate benefits by phasing down HFCs and increasing energy efficiency,” said the former Minister of the Environment Vincent Biruta. “We are a coalition that can act fast and Rwanda stands ready to support the CCAC’s efforts in this regard.” 

The 2019 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, named for Rwanda’s capital city where it was agreed upon, commits to phasing down the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent short-lived climate pollutant common in refrigerators and air conditioners. This landmark agreement has the potential to avoiding a 0.4 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures and it could not have happened without Rwanda.

"The Kigali Amendment was the result of hard work and a dedication to building a future that our children and grandchildren can be proud of, and one that is worthy of their aspirations,” said Biruta.

In 2019, Rwanda released its National Cooling Strategy, the first phase of the Rwanda Cooling Initiative which is a joint effort between the Government and the UN Environment’s United for Efficiency team. The strategy aims to address the countries’ growing need for air conditioners and refrigeration while maintaining a green growth pathway. It recommends actions to expand access to cooling while conserving resources, including an upper limit on the electricity that can be used by typical refrigerants and air conditioners and the promotion of alternative cooling solutions such as shading and natural ventilation. The Rwanda Cooling Initiative also does market assessments to collect data on the current state and future projections of refrigerant and air conditioners and has a Financial Mechanism to get the private sector the needed support to invest in new efficient cooling technology. Rwanda is also a partner of the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program which works in tandem with the Kigali Amendment by helping developing countries transition to energy efficiency solutions. 

Videos: How Rwanda is working with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to drive ambitious action on air pollution and climate change. 


Improving energy efficiency in the cooling sector
"Rwanda is pleased to support the newly created Climate and Clean Air Coalition Efficient Cooling initiative."


HFC phasedown
"We are grateful to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and members of the Coalition in securing the Kigali Amendment and supporting fast implementation."


Climate & clean air action
"Rwanda has been working with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to introduce strict emissions standards for thermal power plants and vehicles by 2020."

CCAC activities

Workstream | SNAP
Ongoing
While many countries recognize the value of addressing short-lived climate pollutants and taking an integrated approach to climate and air quality planning, they often lack capacity within the...

Other activities

Cooling 

  • In 2020, Rwanda launched the African Centre of Excellence for sustainable cooling and cold chain. Already operational and conducting feasibility studies, it will soon help get farmers’ produce to market quickly and efficiently which will reduce food waste, boost profits, and create jobs. In future phases, it will be expanded to other interested parts of Africa. 
  • In 2019, the Coolease scheme was launched by the Rwanda Green Fund and the Rwanda Business Development Fund in partnership with U4E and Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy as part of the Rwanda Cooling Initiative. Coolease is a financial mechanism to promote energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling solutions. The first of its kind in Africa, it will mean that suppliers and consumers of air conditioning and refrigeration can transition to the latest technology without an upfront investment.  
  • The Energy Sector Strategic Plan 2018/19-2023/24 identified the need to develop energy efficiency strategies and regulations to avoid costly investment in new power generation. The plan sets the goal of saving up to 10 percent of 2013 power output levels by with energy efficiency programmes, including appliance standards and a labelling scheme. 
  • From 2015-2025 Rwanda will be increasing efficient lighting in buildings by better disseminating energy efficient lamps in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings which will be supported by government subsidies and VAT exemptions. 

Household Energy 

  • In May 2019, Rwanda and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launched “Bioenergy and Food Security Assessment and Capacity Building for Rwanda” to assess the country’s sustainable bioenergy options and reduce reliance on wood fuel by identifying and analysing potential bioenergy feedstock and technologies. 
  • In May 2018, at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Portugal, a group of cooking fuel organizations, including Global LPG Partnership and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, formed the informal ‘Lisbon Group’ to build markets for clean fuels. Rwanda has been a key partner in this work, including by phasing out traditional cooking fuels and wood-based cooking in favour of clean stoves and sustainable biomass cooking. 
  • In 2018, Rwanda hosted the first Clean Cooking Investment Forum, bringing together key industry players and top government officials to discuss market-based solutions for East Africa.  
  • In 2018, it set a Biomass energy strategy with the goal of halving the percentage of households that use inefficient cooking technology (from 83.3 percent in 2014 to 42 percent by 2024). 
  • Since 2015, Rwanda has been working to achieve its goal of disseminating modern efficient cookstoves to 80 percent of the rural population and 50 percent of the urban population by 2030. This will achieve a more sustainable balance between supply and demand of biomass and reduce firewood and fossil energy consumption for cooking. 

Air Quality and Transportation 

  • In Rwanda’s 2020 submission of its NDCs, the country included measures introduced to increase vehicle emissions performance of national vehicle fleets, including tax incentives and scrappage of older vehicles, and inspection and further reduction of greenhouse gases and local emissions from gasoline and diesel use. 
  • Rwanda has adopted and is implementing a new emission standard. All new vehicles registrations in Rwanda must have been EURO 4/IV type approved at the point of manufacture. The new emission standards also include in-use vehicle emissions standards which have graduated parameter restrictions according to the year of manufacture 
  • In 2020, Rwanda began building out its Transport Sector Strategic Plan by expanding public transportation infrastructure through measures such as a bus rapid transport project, bus lanes, and non-motorised transport lanes. 
  • In 2019, Rwanda and the East Africa Community started working to harmonize vehicle emission standards to Euro 4 standards. To further cut emissions, they also tested electric vehicles in partnership with Volkswagen. 
  • In 2018, the Ministry of Environment worked with the CCAC and the Rwanda Standards to review air quality standards and potentially develop new emission standards for internal combustion engines. The Environmental Compliance Institute released a report on the topic. 
  • In 2017, the Rwanda Air Quality and Climate Change Monitoring Project installed climate change and air quality monitoring infrastructure to collect better data and process that data to better inform policies and enforcement. 

Agriculture 

  • Starting in 2020, under the Livestock Master Plan, the country began work to adopt more efficient manure management systems over the next decade, including collective farms and training, to reduce methane emissions. 
  • Starting in 2020, under the Livestock Master Plan, Rwanda will replace 10 percent of domestic cows with improved species, expand fish farming, poultry and other small livestock to increase the protein food supply without increasing cows, which will reduce methane emissions while tightening food security by 2030. 
  • Starting in 2020, under the Livestock Master Plan, Rwanda will promote the use of on-farm anaerobic digestion of manure for bioenergy and implement a range of energy efficient measures focused on reducing firewood and electricity consumption in the coffee and tea sector.  
  • In 2019, the Greening Girinka project, funded by Rwanda’s environment and climate change fund FONERWA, started working with beneficiaries of the One Cow Per Poor Family programme to test new, climate-friendly technologies for small crop and livestock development. 
  • Starting in 2018, the Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation phase 4 outlines priority investments in agriculture and estimates what resources they will require through 2024. 
  • The 2017 National Agricultural Policy updated the 2004 policy to make Rwanda’s agricultural sector more modern and efficient and to facilitate in-country markets. 
  • The 2017 Livestock Master Plan set out objectives to achieve food and nutritional security, increase economic growth, increase exports, mitigate climate change, and increase household and national livestock production levels. 

Waste 
  

  • In 2020, Rwanda began its decade-long project, as part of its NDCs to develop waste-to-energy plants in Kigali and other urban areas. 
  • In 2020, as part of its NDCs, Rwanda started developing commercial-scale aerobic composting systems for agricultural and forestry residue, manure, food processing, and household and garden waste. 
  • The 2018 Law on the Environment helps regulate the waste management sector by fining unauthorized activities and creating environmental protection committees at various government levels in Kigali. 
  • The 2016 National Sanitation Policy outlined a vision for the sector and identified the interventions needed to achieve sustainable and equitable access to solid waste management and sanitation. 

Address

Ministry of Natural Resources, Land, Forests, Environment and Mining
Kigali
Rwanda
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