Remarks by Rwanda's Environment Minister at Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance Summit

Remarks by Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment

The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance Endorsement Meeting and Summit

20 September 2017 | New York, U.S.A.


It is a pleasure to be with you and I thank Barbara and her team for giving me the opportunity to share Rwanda’s green growth journey and partnership with the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance. 

Rwanda is pleased to be part of the Lab network and efforts to create cutting edge climate finance instruments. The approach of the Lab, one of innovation and creativity, is what Rwanda believes it will take to achieve our environmental protection and sustainable development goals.

Rwanda has built a strong legal, institutional and policy framework to address climate change and ensure environmental sustainability. Our Constitution guarantees environmental protection and a robust environmental law is rigorously enforced.

To achieve our vision of being a developed, climate resilient and low carbon nation by 2050, we put in place a comprehensive Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy. This strategy is a blueprint for building climate resilience and integrating environmental considerations into all the sectors of the economy.

For Rwanda, there is no doubt that sustainable climate finance is a critical enabler for the successful implementation of this ambitious strategy. And so, in 2012 we established the Rwanda Green Fund, known locally as FONERWA, to be the driver of green growth. The fund invests in projects and initiatives most likely to foster the paradigm shift we need.

Over the last five years, the Rwanda Green Fund has mobilised close to 100 million dollars, invested in 35 climate resilience initiatives and created more than 120,000 green jobs.

Our fund is working to catalyze and accelerate climate investments with a keen focus on promoting private sector investment in sustainable development. In fact, at least twenty percent of the fund’s investments are earmarked for private investments. In the near future, the fund will serve as the primary channel for private investment in green and climate resilient development.

To support these efforts, we work with a range of partners, including the GCF, the Climate Investment Funds, and the Lab, and we hope to scale up this work. We believe there is significant scope for expanding our partnerships and we welcome the opportunity to work with other potential partners here today.

I am pleased to share that one of the Lab’s instruments is already being considered for piloting by our own Rwanda Green Fund. The proposal for the Climate Smart Lending Platform is currently at an advanced stage of the approval process. This will draw from experiences of F3 LIFE pilot that has been successfully run in Kenya by involving smallholder farmers in climate smart lending practices.

We are keen to support the Climate Smart Lending Platform as a strategy for crowding in investments and as a way to accelerate private sector partnerships in smallholder farmer management efforts.

We are confident this instrument will be successful and will serve as a good pilot for scaling up the work between The Lab and the Rwanda Green Fund. Using the fund as a platform, we believe Rwanda can harness Lab instruments to grow investments that will accelerate the country’s climate resilient and green economy development.

Rwanda is pleased to be part of the Lab and we look forward to strengthening our collaboration with the Lab and all its members to achieve the transformational change our planet needs.

Thank you for your kind attention.