Rwanda Green Fund wins top UN award for climate action

The Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) has received the United Nations 2018 Momentum for Change Award for its outstanding contribution to addressing climate change. The fund was selected for the award in the category of Financing For Climate Friendly Investment. Every year, the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, which leads the Momentum for Change awards, celebrates initiatives that are advancing climate resilience and the Sustainable Development Goals. 
 
The award recognises successful financial innovations for adaptation and climate mitigation. It aims to highlight climate activities promoting low-carbon growth and highly resilient communities through the use of innovative financing mechanisms. The fund was awarded for being one of the most innovative, scalable, and practical examples of addressing climate change. 
 
“These activities shine a light on scalable climate action around the world,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. “They are proof that climate action isn’t only possible, it’s innovative, it’s exciting and it makes a difference. I congratulate the Rwanda Green Fund, which is investing in public and private projects that drive transformative change. It is one of the first national environment and climate change investment funds in Africa.”
 
The Fund was chosen from among 560 applications from all over the world that came from businesses, governments, communities and organisations. The Financing for Climate Friendly Investment category is implemented in partnership with the World Economic Forum Global Project on Climate Change. 
 
Hubert Ruzibiza, CEO of the Fund, thanked UN Climate Change for recognising Rwanda’s efforts to support climate resilient development, and reaffirmed the fund’s unwavering mission to drive green growth in Rwanda. 
 
“We are grateful to the UN Climate Change Secretariat for recognising our efforts in climate action. Through the fund’s investments, we are witnessing transformative change that aligns with Rwanda’s ambition to become a developed, low carbon economy. This award is recognition of the country's leadership, and the hard work of communities across Rwanda and the fund team. It encourages us to do even more as we build a climate resilient Rwanda,” CEO Ruzibiza said.
 
The 2018 Lighthouse Activities were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, which is implemented with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum, Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy Forum (WiSER) initiative, and Climate Neutral Now. 
 
“Climate action leaders, including those recognised by the Momentum for Change initiative, are stepping up to meet the global climate challenge by delivering on the Paris Agreement,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “These inspirational leaders, from communities, governments, businesses and organizations, come from all corners of the globe and all levels of society. Their winning projects range from transformative financial investments to women-led solutions to protect people and the planet. Through their leadership and creativity, we see essential change.”
 
The winning activities fall within one of Momentum for Change’s four focus areas: Planetary Health, Climate Neutral Now, Women for Results, and Financing for Climate Friendly Investment. As part of the award, the Rwanda Green Fund will be showcased at a series of special events during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December in Katowice, Poland.
 
About the Rwanda Green Fund
 
The Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) invests in sustainable wealth creation and poverty reduction by providing strategic financing that accelerates Rwanda’s commitment to building a strong climate resilient and green economy. Funding proposals are approved based on careful evaluation to ensure their return on investment contributes to Rwanda’s climate resilience. 
 
  • The Rwanda Green Fund has committed investments of just under USD 40 million to 35 projects; 
  • The Fund has created more than 137,500 green jobs, provided more than 57,500 households with improved access to off-grid clean energy and protected 19,500 hectares of land against soil erosion; 
  • Investments have supported 104,000 people to cope with the effects of climate change and planted 39,500 hectares of forest; 
  • Investments have reduced the equivalent of 18,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions; 
  • In total, the Fund has raised approximately USD 130 million for strategic climate resilience investments in Rwanda.
 
Learn more about the fund on the Momentum for Change website
 

2018 Momentum for Change Awards Announcement