Rwanda at the Paris Climate Talk - Day 9 Update

Rwanda Delegation Update - Day 9 Recap | 8 December 2015

The delegation on Tuesday was led by DG Mukankomeje. Below are the main events and meetings attended and a short summary of the discussion and outcomes. 

Organisation International de la Francophonie High Level Meeting

Rwanda's UNFCCC Focal Point, Faustin Munyazikwiye, attended the event where a guide book for negotiations and its summary were launched.

Meeting with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

DG Mukankomeje and Faustin Munyazikwiye met with Fatima Denton, Director of Special Initiatives at UNECA. The discussion focused on the progress of the technical support programme to Rwanda on climate and hydrology. The main outcomes of the meeting included the appointment of a new focal person for the project, Dr Wilfran, who was present at the meeting.

Opening of Africa Day at the COP21 Climate Conference

DG Mukankomeje and Faustin Munyazikwiye led the delegation at the opening of the Africa Day at the Africa Pavilion. At the event, EAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera commended Africa for submitting national climate plans (INDCs) but said one is needed for the whole continent, as the EU has done. He also said that the EAC will soon submit a climate change bill to the East Africa Legislative Assembly. 

The meeting heard that out of 54 countries on the continent, 53 have submitted their climate action plans (Libya has not yet submitted). With the commitments now made, Africa is calling for the resources and technology to implement their plans - a key point that needs to be agreed on as part of the ongoing negotiations. 

Meeting with United Nations Environment Programme

DG Mkankomeje met with Ermira Fida, Task Manager for Climate Change at UNEP. The discussion focused on the good partnership between Rwanda and UNEP, especially in the field of climate change. The two also discussed Phase 1 of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) project that supported Rwanda's early warning system for extreme weather events. This project included community engagement, equipment and collaboration with Meteo and the Ministry of Refugees and Disaster Management. 

The future of UNEP support through the LDCF was discussed, including the project's second phase, which will help to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems (wetlands, savannah etc.). 

Meeting with the Climate Development Knowledge Meeting

DG Mukankomeje met with Carl Wesselink, Regional Director of CDKN Africa, and discussed support to REMA for its general mandate and climate resilience efforts. The focus of the meeting was on the work that can be done together through the provision of technical assistance to adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change. The two also discussed green cities and air pollution.

Nordic Expertise to Boost Geothermal Development in East Africa Event

Alex Mulisa and Rehema Namutebi attended 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. The work the project is doing in Rwanda was also profiled at the event. 

Meeting with the Green Climate Fund

DG Mukankomeje, Alex Mulisa and Rehema Namutebi met with Stephanie Kwan (Accredited Entities Specialist) and Clifford Polycarp (Country Operations Dialogue Manager) from the Green Climate Fund to discuss the recent Ministry funding proposal, enhanced direct access for Rwanda's Green Fund (FONERWA) and plans for the expansion of private sector investment mechanisms. 

DG Mukankomeje and Alex Mulisa also got their GCF Passport, that confirms the holder as a citizen of the world who cares about the planet and is committed to a low carbon lifestyle. 

Climate Finance Access Hub

Alex Mulisa and Rehema Namutebi attended the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Mauritius hosted event on the Climate Finance Access Hub. 

 

Today's Major Events

9:30-11:30: Waste Management Coalition Initiative (Morocco Pavilion, Blue Zone)

  • DG Mukankomeje will lead Rwanda's delegation to this event where she will speak about Rwanda's waste reduction efforts including banning plastic bags and Umuganda. The event takes place at the Morocco Pavilion in the Blue Zone. Agenda attached. 

12:00-12:30: Bilateral Meeting with China (China Pavilion) 

12:00-12:30: Joint Meeting with with UNFCCC team and AfDB 

  • DG Mukankomeje and Faustin Munyazikwiye will meet with the UNFCCC and AfDB teams to discuss preparation of the Africa Carbon Forum, which will be hosted by Rwanda in April 2016.

14:00-14:30: Meeting with Global Green Growth Institute 

16:00-18:00: AfDB Side Event on Private Sector & Climate Resilience (Africa Pavilion, Room 2)

  • Green Fund Coordinator Alex Mulisa will speak on this panel. 

18:30-20:00: The Green Climate Fund: ‘Looking Beyond Paris’  (Hall 4, Room 10)

  • This side event will discuss the future direction of the Fund after the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP 21). The panel will feature Henrik Harboe and Gabriel Quijandria, outgoing Co-Chairs of the Board, alongside Zaheer Fakir and Ewan McDonald, the incoming Co-Chairs, and Héla Cheikhrouhou, GCF's Executive Director. The discussion will be moderated by OXFAM. 

 

Key Announcements

 

Negotiation Next Steps

  • 13:00-13:30: Paris Committee Meeting (Negotiations) 
  • Prochaine étape : mercredi 9 décembre à 13h 
  • 17:00-19:00: Paris Committee Meeting (Negotiations) 
  • Thursday 10 December: The agreement must be concluded in order to carry out the final legal verifications and to translate it into the six official UN languages (English, French, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish).
  • Friday 11 December: Adoption of the agreement in the plenary session at 6pm.

Rwanda at the Paris Climate Talks - Day 9

Summary

  • The New Times reports that the Global Green Growth stitute's partnership with Rwanda will contribute to the livelihoods of citizens through the green economy.

  • EnviroNews writes that Rwanda's Natural Resources Minister has shared a national statement with international delegates at COP21, where he emphasised that climate action is not about sacrificing economic growth, but to sustain the development for the next generations.

  • Business Green writes that the EU has promised to contribute €475m to the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of countries by 2020.

  • ublic Finance International reports that the United Kingdom and the United States of America are working together to support Africa's ambition of promoting renewable energy.

  • France 24 publishes a story that nuclear energies have not yet found a good spot to address their issues at COP21.

 

Review

Rwanda

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.The partnership with GGGI will contribute toward Rwanda’s development and improve the livelihoods of citizens by fostering sustainable economic growth. Read More

Negotiators push to keep global warming below 2 degree Celcius (The New Times - 9 December 2015) -- Negotiators from the African continent and V20 ­­– a group of the most vulnerable countries to climate change effects – want to keep global temperatures around 5oC. El-Hassan Nagmeldin Gouthi, the chairperson of African Group of Negotiators on climate change (AGN), said keeping global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius is another strong point for African countries as it is most vulnerable to climate change effects. Read More 

Rwanda's National Statement delivered by Dr Vincent Biruta Minister of Natural Resources (EnviroNews - 8 December 2015) -- Mr President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. Climate change is a global problem that affects us all, and we have to deal with it together.The world has overcome other serious challenges by applying technology and scientific knowledge. Slowing climate change and adapting to it should be no different.Indeed, continued progress in research and development may mean we do not have to choose between prosperity and environmental sustainability.The key to making this a reality is increasing funding to develop more productive and efficient renewable energy technologies.The many clean energy investment commitments made here in Paris send a strong signal that the time for energy transformation is now. Read More

Geoengineering Is Too Risky, Scientists Warn Paris COP21 Negotiators (Alternet - 8 December 2015) -- The World Resources Institute, a nonprofit, analyzed the national climate pledges for Climate Central. It found that a handful of countries, including oil exporters and China, discuss or propose the use of carbon capture technology to help meet their pollution-reduction goals, though none referred directly to “negative emissions” goals. (Rwanda’s pledge states that it’s already a “negative emissions” nation.) Read More

 

Cameron's climate rhetoric is meaningless in the face of Osborne's anti-environmental policies, say Friends of the Earth (The National - 7 December 2015) -- Meanwhile, the Scottish Government are to invest an extra £12m into the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund. Nicola Sturgeon will announce the funding during a speech in Paris. The fund currently supports 11 projects in Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia, During the speech the First Minister is expected to say Scotland backs calls “for an ambitious agreement” that “is capable of limiting temperature increases to below two degrees Celsius.” Read More 
 

From Across Africa

Africa hangs its agricultural transformation agenda on COP21's outcome (IPS - 8 December 2015) -- A famous saying goes: To whom much is given, much is expected. This is the message that the African Development Bank (AfDB) is carrying and delivering for, and on behalf of Africa at the global conference on climate change, COP21, which opened Monday, 30th November.“All fingers are not equal. Those who pollute more should do more in saving our planet,” said AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who is leading his bank’s team at the climate change conference in Paris.Adesina, a former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, knows what climate change has done and what its implications are for Africa’s agricultural development if nothing is done to halt global warming. Read More 

COP21 – Africa cannot afford to be complacent (Youth Independent - 8 December 2015) -- The COP21 meeting in Paris has been going on for more than a week now, but unlike the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, the news filtering from this meeting has a note of optimism about it, even if agreements on finances are slow.  What is marking out these talks is the fact that both developed and developing nations are pledging to do all they can to stem the rise of temperatures, which will have a disastrous effect on the world.Just before the COP21 discussions took place, the French president, François Hollande pledged a sum of 2 billion euros to Africa in 2020 to develop renewable energies. At the meeting, developed nations have pledged 10 billion Euros, which are “the necessary cost to provide 10 gigawatts of new capacities of green energy in 2030.” Emerging countries like China have pledged to set aside $3.1 billion to help developing countries fight climate change. Read More

 

From Around The World

COP21 Live Blog: Day 9 (ZME Science - 8 December 2015) -- We would like to see a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050, and a full phase out of fossil fuel emissions. We would also like to see a carbon budget and a more equitable means of dividing that. Instead, we're seeing talks of a carbon budget. Global warming must not exceed 1.5 degrees C -- this is a crucial threshold for the coral reef, amazon and oceans. We think that countries are going to land on the temperature target.  Read More 

COP-21 Roundup: Dec. 8 – Day 9 (Carbon Pulse - 8 December 2015) -- 2009 CET – CLIMATE NEUTRAL AIRPORTS: The UNFCCC and the Airports Council International (ACI) announced an agreement to cut emissions at airports and work towards achieving carbon neutrality. Reductions will be made through use of energy-efficient lighting, cooling and heating systems, solar energy, climate-friendly ground transportation and a wide range of other measures. ACI will support the UNFCCC’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, while the UNFCCC secretariat will support an airport carbon accreditation programme, through which more and more airports will measure, report and reduce their emissions. Read More

COP21: Ban tells private sector ‘how we do business today will determine if we can do business in the future’ (UN News Centre - 8 December 2015) -- Speaking at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a room full of business leaders that the global gathering will serve to share progress made in important areas and to establish even greater ambition for the future.“The collective momentum among the private sector for climate action is growing daily,” said Mr. Ban alongside the United States Secretary of States, John Kerry, and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, at a high-level meeting of the UN Global Compact’s Caring for Business Forum. Read More 

Nuclear energy struggles to find its voice at COP21 conference (France 24 - 8 December 2015) -- The huge French pavilion that was built for the COP 21 climate conference includes over a dozen spacious stands showcasing France's leadership in various fields of science, technology, education and ecology. But nowhere does the pavilion mention nuclear energy, completely dismissing this key French sector from the country's energy landscape.Conference participants curious about nuclear power will also find it difficult to find any information on the subject, from either groups who oppose atomic energy or those who defend it. Read More

Watching Greenland melt from Paris (CNN - 8 December 2015) -- Olafur Eliasson, an Icelandic-Danish artist who lassoed and transported tons of ice from Greenland to Paris for a new climate change-inspired exhibit, bets you haven't."The truth is the ice is amazing. It's so touching to look at," he told me, standing in front of 12 hunks of Greenland that glittered blue-white in front of the Pantheon in Paris. The ice blocks -- totaling nearly 100 tons, he told me -- are arranged in the shape of a clock. You can see streaks of air and tiny bubbles in the ice. Put your ear to it, as I did at Eliasson's suggestion, and you hear a faint crackling sound. "It's a little concert," he said. "It's a little ice concert." Read More

Private investment buffers COP21 money battles (GreenBiz - 8 December 2015) -- The UN climate convention that year in Copenhagen ended with no agreement but instead a virtual fistfight over who would pay for greenhouse gas mitigation and clean energy in Third World countries which are not responsible for today’s climate problems.This year, in the months leading up to COP21, hundreds of billions of dollars have been committed from business and governments alike to finance clean energy innovations and carbon mitigation, creating some optimism that the world just might, after all, pursue a plan to stem climate change. Read More

COP21 Q&A: Where do we all stand now? (The Irish Times - 8 December 2015) -- COP21: What are the sticking points? The text has been reduced to 48 pages, and ministers from almost 200 countries have been working on it for two days now with the hope of reaching agreement by Friday. There’s a lot of sculpting still to be done - and it’s like working with very hard marble. The French presidency of COP21 has shown impressive skill in ensuring that the talks remain disciplined and focused and that they stick to the timetable. The biggest crunch issue is the level at which global temperature rises should be limited. However, like every other issue this cannot be looked at in isolation. Even if a target is agreed, action must take place to ensure it’s delivered. Read More
 

 

GoR Environment & Natural Resources Sector News

Rwanda Delegation Update - Day 8 Recap | 7 December 2015 (Green Fund website - 8 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. Read More

Remarks by Minister Vincent Biruta, Minister of Natural ResourcesLaunch of the 1 Gigaton Coalition Report (Green Fund website - 8 December 2015) -- Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen,I am delighted to be here at the launch of the 1 Gigaton Coalition Report.  I would like to begin by thanking the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Environment Programme and all the coalition partners for their hard work in preparing this important report.Climate change poses a complex challenge. In trying to solve this challenge, it’s tempting to look for a silver bullet solution. But complex problems require multi-faceted solutions and the report we are launching here today represents an important part of the overall climate action strategy. Read More 

Rwanda shares its experience in putting the environment at the heart of development (REMA website - 7 December 2015) -- Rwanda's delegation at the ongoing COP21 climate talks in Paris, led by the Minister of Natural Resources, has shared how the country’s success in conservation and green growth is thanks to policies that put the environment at the heart of development.Minister Biruta shared Rwanda’s sustainable development progress at an event hosted by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) during the UN conference. The event brought together over 500 participants for a discussion on how to create low-emission and climate-resilient projects that can be supported by the global Fund. Read More