Remarks by Minister Biruta at 3rd High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance - COP24
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 05:11
Good afternoon. I am pleased to join today’s dialogue on climate finance and I thank the organisers for convening this important event. There is little doubt that finance continues to be the missing piece of the puzzle for large scale climate action. That’s why we here today.
In Rwanda, we have learned that attracting the finance to obtain our development goals requires strong legal and policy frameworks as well as institutions that can implement these policies.
We have also learned that you need a clear vision that is not only owned by government, but also the private sector and civil society.
In Rwanda, this vision is to be a developed, climate resilience nation by 2050. To achieve this, we developed a green growth and climate resilience strategy and set up a national fund for environment through which climate finance can be channeled.
Since the Rwanda Green Fund was established, its direct investments have created almost 140,000 green jobs, supported more than 100,000 people to cope with climate change, provided close to 60,000 households with access to off-grid clean energy and restored and protected tens of thousands of hectares of forests, land and waterways.
The fund has mobilised more than 130 million dollars for strategic climate investments. However, this is just a small portion of the billions required to achieve our climate action plan and sustainable development goals. For example, the project pipeline for Rwanda’s Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience has been costed at 600 million dollars. We know that we have a long way to go to mainstream climate change into all sectors and ensure it is a priority in decision making at all levels of government.
That’s why governments must view climate finance not only as concession loans or grants, but rather as the full spectrum of financial instruments and flows. This way of thinking comes from an understanding that governments can’t do it alone. Rather, we must think big and bring the private sector on board. This can only be done if we send clearer signals to the market. This is crucial to creating a conducive environment for climate investment.
If there’s one thing markets like less than change, it’s uncertainty. The Paris Agreement sent a strong signal to business that the world must transition to a new era of development. Since then, however, the signals have been mixed. Some of the world’s largest economies continue to invest in fossil fuel extraction and subsidise industries that are neither profitable nor sustainable. This need to change.
In short, we mustn’t simply view climate finance as the 100 billion per annum pledged by developed nations - though this is essential and the ambition should be raised - but rather work towards greening the global financial system. Only then will we achieve the scale of transformation required to address the climate challenge.
Thank you for your kind attention.