Rwanda at the Paris Climate Talk - Day 8 Update

Rwanda Delegation Update - Day 8 Recap | 7 December 2015

The delegation was led by Minister Biruta and DG Mukankomeje. The main events were opening of the High Level Segment, which was attended by Minister Biruta and DG Mukankomeje, the Launch of the 1 Gigaton Coalition Report at which Minister Biruta spoke, the delivery of Rwanda's National Statement and the Launch of the GGGI Inclusive Green Growth Partnership.

Opening of High Level Segment of the Paris Climate Talks

  • Minister Biruta and DG Mukankomeje attended the opening of the High Level Segment at which Ministers from around the world were present.

Ministerial Launch of the 1 Gigaton Coalition Report

  • Minister Biruta joined Borge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway, Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP and Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change to launch the inaugural 1 Gigaton Coalition report. You can read the Minister's statement here and watch him speak here. Photo can be viewed here

Delivery of National Statement

  • The National Statement for Rwanda was read by Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta in the main plenary hall of the COP21. You can read the national statement here and watch the Minister deliver it here. Photos can be viewed here

Launch of the the GGGI Inclusive Green Growth Partnership

  • Minister Biruta spoke on a panel about the kinds of finance solutions that can support countries to deliver on their INDCs and SDGs. The Minister spoke about Rwanda's Green Fund (FONERWA), noting the funds mobilise to date, the role of the private sector and the need to encourage them to see green investments as opportunities rather than risks. During the panel, Erik Solheim, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, said:

Photos from the event can be viewed here

Today's Major Events:

  • 9:00-10:00: AMCEN Recap Meeting
    • The delegation attended at a recap meeting of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment to review the progress of the negotiations.
  • 9:00-10:00: Organisation International de la francophonie high level meeting
    • DG Mukankomeje and Faustin Munyazikwiye attended the event where a guide for negotiations book and its summary for negotiators was launched.
  • 10:30-11:00: Meeting with UNECA
    • DG Mukankomeje and Faustin Munyazikwiye met with Fatima Denton, Director of special initiatives at UNECA. The discussion was mainly on the progress of the technical support programme to Rwanda on climate and hydrology.
  • 11:30 onwards: Opening of Africa Day at COP21
    • DG Mukankomeje and Faustin Munyazikwiye will lead the delegation to attend the opening of the Africa Day at the Paris Climate Talks. 
  • 13:00: Climate Vulnerable Forum Public Action
    • Members of the delegation will attend the public action at the Le Bourget site organised by the Climate Vulnerable Forum to call for the agreement to include the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal. 
  • 14:00 - 15:00: AMCEN-EU Working Lunch Meeting
    • DG Mukankomeje will attend the lunch meeting of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment at the EU Pavilion in Hall 2.
  • 14:15-15:45: Nordic expertise to boost geothermal development in East Africa
    • Members of the delegation will attend a presentation of efforts to combat climate change in East Africa through the Geothermal Exploration Project. The EUR 10 million project covers the 13 East African Rift Valley countries. As part of the project, a plan to establish a Geothermal Centre of Excellence will be introduced.
  • 15:30: Meeting with the Green Climate Fund
    • Alex Mulisa and the delegation will meet with the Green Climate Fund to discuss the recent funding proposal. Location is the GCF stand at Hall 3, stand 18, next to the Africa Pavilion.
  • 19:30 - 20:30: Climate Finance Access Hub
    • Members of the delegation will attend the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Mauritius hosted event on the Climate Finance Access Hub. 

Key Announcements


  • Igihe reports that Rwanda has signed an agreement with a Korean Institute to help in building the green economy and climate resilience.
  • Mail & Guardian Africa publishes a story that 10 African countries including Rwanda, have established African Forest Landscape Restoration known as AFR100.
  • RFI reports that agriculture as most of the African continent work has been neglected at COP21.
  • The UN quotes Ban Ki-moon saying that we have the unique opportunity to define our own destiny.
  • Al Jazeera writes that 150 nations have made plans to fight climate change, but an agreed system for each country's ambition is still needed.




Green growth institute backs Rwanda green economy agenda (The New Times - 8 December 2015) -- The government has signed an agreement with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) under which the latter will support the country’s efforts to build a green and sustainable economy. The signing took place last week at the international conference on climate change in Paris, France. Read More

REDD+ handed in Paris (The New Times - 7 December 2015) -- It’s been 30 years since the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launched the Tropical Forestry Action Plan, the first global intergovernmental initiative to halt forest loss. Since then, deforestation has continued unabated, and the latest international effort to stop it – an initiative known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) – looks no more likely to be effective. Far from protecting the world’s forests, the most notable outcome of these two agreements has been, ironically, the production of reams of expensive consultancy reports. Read More

COP21: Korean institute supports Rwanda into climate change resilience (Igihe - 7 December 2015) -- The cooperation is based on the development of Rwandan livelihoods, economic development, strengthening partnership through technical projects and capacity building in environment conservation and protection to make Rwanda resilient to climate change.The cooperation will support Rwanda Fund for Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA ) to design climate change resilient projects as well as capacity building.Dr.Vincent Biruta, the minister of natural resources has lauded GGGI efforts in supporting Rwanda’s green growth and livelihood improvement. Read More

At Paris climate talks, African coalition aims to restore 100 million hectares of forest (Mail & Guardian Africa) -- A coalition of African countries and donors unveiled an ambitious initiative on the sidelines of a crunch UN climate conference Sunday to restore 100 million hectares (250 million acres) of degraded and deforested land by 2030.Calledthe African Restoration Initiative (AFR100), the project aims to nurture the regrowth of forests that would become a powerful “carbon sink,” absorbing climate-altering carbon dioxide and providing a livelihood for the rural poor. Read More (More coverage: Africa Times & CP Africa)

Rwanda joins 19 to mitigate climate (East African Business Week - 6 December 2015) --Rwanda recently joined 19 other countries in launching the ‘Vulnerable 20’ - a group of nations most at risk from the impact of climate change. The V20 wants to use the power and potential of finance as an integral tool in solving this problem is a group. It comprises of Finance Ministers from countries most vulnerable to climate change. Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Amb. Claver Gatete recently spoke to Agnes Bateta about the V20 and why Rwanda joined the group. Below are excerpts. Question: What is the Vulnerable 20 and why did Rwanda decide to join? Read More

Climate change mitigation: developed nations should help developing ones – Biruta (Rwanda Focus - 2 Decemember 2015) -- The Minister for Natural Resources, Vincent Biruta, has called on developed nations to help developing nations in climate change mitigation. Read More 

From Across Africa

Africa grasps renewable energy and adaptation financing at the COP21 (ICTSD - 7 December 2015) --From the opening of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), African leaders have made strong stands for their continent’s need for energy expansion, and the minimisation of the detrimental effects of climate change. Matching responses were received from the international community in the form of substantial commitments made to a renewable energy initiative and adaptation fund.The COP21 or the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties, has brought together negotiators of 200 countries in Paris to finalise a legally binding international climate agreement. The overarching goal of the agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Read More

Africa’s demands at the Paris COP21 (Southern African - 7 December 2015) -- As climate change experts are set to meet for the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015, in Paris, France, it is worth noting that Zimbabwe and most other African countries are getting more vulnerable to climatic changes.Climatologists predict sectoral impacts affecting various sectors from environment, agriculture and food security, health, water resources, economic activities, human migration and physical infrastructure. Read More

COP21 : déjà 10 milliards d’euros réunis pour les énergies renouvelables en Afrique (Jeune Afrique - 7 December 2015) -- 07 décembre 2015 à 18h10 — Mis à jour le 07 décembre 2015 à 18h18Par Jeune Afrique avec AFPinShare0Laurent Fabius, ministre français des Affaires étrangères et président de la COP21, a annoncé lundi que les pays développés ont déjà mobilisé 10 milliards d'euros de financements publics pour soutenir une initiative africaine de développement des énergies renouvelables sur ce continent.Pour les énergies vertes en Afrique, les pays développés mettent la main au portefeuille : déjà 10 milliards d’euros réunis, selon Laurent Fabius, chef de la diplomatie française. Read More

Agriculture neglected in Cop21 negotiation text, AU expert (RFI - 7 December 2015) -- This week is critical for negotiators at Cop21 in Paris - with a working text on the table, environment ministers from Africa will be discussing how the issues of dealing with climate change can take priority. RFI spoke to Estherine Fotabong, the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) Director of Programme Implementation and Coordination, to get her take on the closed-door talks. Read More

From All Around The World

COP-21 Roundup: Dec. 7 – Day 8 (Carbon Pulse - 7 December 2015) -- The final stretch of years of climate negotiations begin this week, as negotiators over the weekend passed a Paris text on to the French presidency, and ministers get involved. Carbon Pulse will publish news and updates from COP21 as they happen. 1808 CET – FRANCE, US STATES SIGN LOW-CARBON PARTNERSHIP: France, California, Washington state and Vermont signed an agreement to promote innovation and share technology in key low-carbon sectors, creating “non-relocatable jobs” in the process. The plan will focus on renewables, energy efficiency and storage, sustainable buildings, low-carbon transport, and water management. Read More

Actions on renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries could reduce emissions by 1.7 Gt/year by 2020 (UNEP News Centre - 7 December 2015) -- Initial analysis of almost 6,000 projects targeting renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries has revealed that the projects could reduce CO2 emissions by about 1.7 gigatons a year by 2020.The findings, released today at COP21 in Paris by the 1 Gigaton Coalition in its first annual report, entitled Narrowing the Emissions Gap: Contributions from renewable energy and energy efficiency activities, are based on projects implemented between 2005 and 2012.They show the potential for further emissions reductions if programmes and initiatives are supported further to replicate successful projects more widely. Read More

New Nordic Climate Solutions - a contribution to the COP21 dialogue (Huffington Post - 7 December 2015) -- If we continue to emit in current rates we have only about 15 years left before we have emitted enough CO2 to warm this planet with more than 2 degrees. This is not a political statement, but a scientific one.COP21 in Paris is therefore a defining moment for the development of life and human activity on our planet. The world's eyes are on the negotiators. The Nordic Council of Ministers, together with Nordic actors, are committed to making an extra effort to contribute with Nordic dialogue, ideas and solutions in conjunction to the climate conference. Read More

COP21: ‘We have the unique opportunity to define our own destiny,’ Ban tells UN climate summit (UN News Centre - 7 December 2015) -- Calling climate change a defining issue of our time, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today told top government officials that the opportunity exists “to define our own destiny” at the UN climate change conference (COP21) in Paris.“In rising to the climate challenge, we can set the world on a sustainable footing for generations to come, and lay the foundation for prosperity and security for all,” he said at a High-Level ministerial segment one week into COP21, which kicked off at the Paris-Le Bourget site last Monday in the north-east of the French capital. Read More

Roadblocks remain as COP 21 talks enter final stretch (France 24 - 7 December 2015) -- The excitement and applause generated by the presentation of a draft agreement on Saturday gave way to cautious optimisim on Monday as negotiating teams went back to work at Le Bourget convention centre just north of Paris."Outside these negotiating halls, there is a rising tide for a strong, universal agreement," UN chief Ban Ki-Moon told foreign ministers from around the world who must now agree on a final and - many hope - detailed text. "The world is expecting more from you than half-measures and incremental approaches," Ban added. Read More

COP21: Carbon emissions 'to stall or even decline' this year (BBC News - 7 December 2015) -- Researchers say it is the first time this has happened while the global economy has continued to grow.The fall-off is due to reduced coal use in China, as well as faster uptake of renewables, the scientists involved in the assessment add.But they expect the stall to be temporary and for emissions to grow again as emerging economies develop.According to the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change and presented here at COP21 in Paris, emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry are likely to have fallen 0.6% in 2015. Read More

Key issues still face COP21 (Mail & Guardian Africa - 7 December 2015) -- COP21 was always going to come down to the last week, where ministers arrive and try iron out what disagreements are left in the draft text of a possible climate change agreement.Sleepless nights and intense pressure mean an agreement should still be reached – creating a global goal for managing temperature increases.But the hurdles are great. After four years of negotiations – starting after COP17 in Durban – the draft deal still runs to 48 pages. It also has more than 900 square brackets, which are left to show areas of disagreement. Read More

COP21: 'All of the major economies need to do more' (Aljazeera - 7 December 2015) -- Even though it has been called the biggest threat facing humanity, for years, countries, particularly rich ones, have done nothing to fundamentally tackle climate change.Global carbon emissions have increased by more than 48 percent since 1992, when the first UN climate change conference took place in Rio de Janeiro. Read More

COP21: Ministers in final push for Paris climate deal (BBC News - 7 December 2015) -- The politicians will attempt to craft a deal from a draft negotiating text signed off by delegates here on Saturday.Poor countries warned the talks would fail if the rich tried to limit their right to grow to protect the climate.One delegate said the poor could not accept starvation as the price of a successful deal in Paris.Negotiators have taken four years to produce the draft text of a long-term agreement. The ministers will have just five days to turn that text into a deal acceptable to all 195 parties here.  Read More

Deal or no deal? Crunch week for COP21 climate negotiations (EuroNews - 7 December 2015) -- It is crunch time at the COP 21 in Paris – will efforts to reach a climate change deal bear fruit? As the summit enters its final week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned that the “clock is ticking toward climate catastrophe.”The deadline for a deal is this coming Friday.“For COP 21, we’re embarking on a week of hope. The objective and requirements are clear. We need a universal agreement on climate,” said Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister, on Monday. Read More

Semaine cruciale à Paris pour la COP21 (EuroNews- 7 December 2015) -- l reste cinq jours aux participants à ce sommet historique sur le climat pour trouver un accord de limitation du réchauffement climatique. Une première version du texte pourrait être présentée mercredi et un accord final signé jeudi. (Watch: French & English)