Rwanda has been selected as a Pioneer Country for the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, co-chaired by the United Kingdom and Fiji. The country was chosen due to its strong track record of effectively utilising climate finance and its bold vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38% by 2030, and become a climate resilient and Net Zero economy by 2050. The announcement was made at the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
As a Pioneer Country alongside Bangladesh, Fiji, Jamaica and Uganda, Rwanda will trial a new approach in cooperation with providers of climate finance. These initial, country- and demand-led trials will see Rwanda and finance providers test, model and champion new methods for accessing climate finance.
The United Kingdom has committed £100 million to the newly established taskforce, which will provide capital grants to climate vulnerable countries to support delivery of national climate plans. Rwanda’s participation in the task force continues the strong partnership between the United Kingdom and Rwanda on climate issues, including the establishment of the Rwanda Green Fund for which the UK provided seed capital.
Rwanda is among the many voices calling for increased access to investment funds for climate action plans. The country was a part of the steering committee of the COP26 Presidency’s Ministerial Meetings on this issue, and is pleased to be involved as a pioneer country in the initiative.
The need for climate finance in nations like Rwanda, which are highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, is urgent. With the land, property, jobs, and lives at risk, we cannot afford delay. The current climate finance system is flawed – it can take years for funds to be successfully approved and disbursed. Project funding is also often not ambitious enough.
Vulnerable nations have no choice but to develop wide-ranging responses to the climate emergency, and they must be empowered to solve the problems they face. The shift towards larger investments in more ambitious programmes will enable countries like Rwanda to implement the most important projects for the well-being of people, and to correct the imbalance which currently dedicates more finance towards mitigation than adaptation.
A new approach is needed to ensure the most vulnerable countries can take rapid action against climate threats. The taskforce will build upon the feedback of developing countries and of institutions involved in project financing to reach a more sustainable and effective state of investment in climate action.
“Rwanda is pleased to be part of the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance and we look forward to seeing the transformative changes in climate finance that are needed to secure the future of our planet. Rwanda has a clear plan of action for responding and adapting to climate change, and we have the necessary frameworks to attract both public and private green investment. We look forward to working with the taskforce to fast-track these efforts and achieve our ambitious targets,” said Minister of Environment, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.
The British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Omar Daair, noted: “Rwanda has long been a leader in mobilising climate finance through its award-winning Green Fund, FONERWA, which the UK helped establish. But we recognise that accessing climate finance can often be slow, complex or not well coordinated, and so I’m really excited that Rwanda will now be a pioneer of the new approach launched through this Taskforce. This will help channel investments more effectively into Rwanda’s ambitious green priorities, and will be an important part of the work Rwanda and the UK take forward together to deliver on the promises of COP26”.