Rwanda Calls for Robust Global Agreement to Address Climate Change

Rwanda Minister of Natural Resources, Dr. Vincent Biruta

The World Bank Group on Tuesday unveiled a new plan that calls for $16 billion in funding, approved to help African people and countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent’s resilience to climate shocks.

Titled “Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development”,  the Africa Climate Business Plan will be presented at COP21, the global climate talks in Paris, on November 30.

It lays out measures to boost the resilience of the continent’s assets – its people, land, water, and cities – as well as other moves including boosting renewable energy and strengthening early warning systems.

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“Sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate shocks, and our research shows that could have far-ranging impact — on everything from child stunting and malaria to food price increases and droughts,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

He added that the plan identifies concrete steps that African governments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from climate change.

The World Bank and the United Nations Environment Program estimate that the cost of managing climate resilience will continue to rise to $20-50 billion by mid-century, and closer to $100 billion in the event of a 4°C warming.

Of the $16.1 billion that the ambitious plan proposes for fast-tracking climate adaptation, some $5.7 billion is expected from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that supports the poorest countries.

“The Africa Climate Business Plan spells out a clear path to invest in the continent’s urgent climate needs and to fast-track the required climate finance to ensure millions of people are protected from sliding into extreme poverty,” Makhtar Diop, World Bank Group Vice President for Africa explained.

“While adapting to climate change and mobilizing the necessary resources remain an enormous challenge, the plan represents a critical opportunity to support a priority set of climate-resilient initiatives in Africa,” he added.

The plan will boost the region’s ability to adapt to a changing climate while reducing greenhouse emissions, focusing on a number of concrete actions. It identifies a dozen priority areas for action that will enhance Africa’s capacity to adapt to the adverse consequences of climate variation and change.

The plan warns that unless decisive action is taken, climate variability and change could seriously jeopardize the region’s hard-won development gains and its aspirations for further growth and poverty reduction.

And it comes in the wake of Bank analysis which indicates climate change could push up to 43 million more Africans into poverty by 2030.
As the world prepares to meet in Paris to define a new international agreement on climate change, decease Rwanda is calling for broader and more concrete action to address the issue.

The country is calling on developed nations to do more to reduce emissions as well as ensure better financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing nations.

In Paris, link Rwanda will join other climate vulnerable countries to advocate for increased mitigation ambitions to limit global average temperature increases to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

As a country with a variable climate and mountainous terrain, Rwanda is at risk of increased weather extremes such as floods and droughts.

Therefore, the country will also advocate for an agreement that includes provisions for financial and technological support to enable climate vulnerable countries to deal with the loss and damage associated with climate change.

Rwanda hopes that the new global agreement to be adopted at the Paris Climate Summit (known also as COP21) will be binding on all nations and reaffirm the obligations of developed countries to provide the climate finance and technological support needed for climate vulnerable countries to adapt.

“Rwanda will go to Paris calling for greater action on climate change and for more and better financing for vulnerable nations. We will also share our experience in implementing innovative environment conservation programmes and work with international partners to mobilise resources. Our ultimate objective is to reach an agreement that prevents the worst impacts of climate change and that supports countries like Rwanda to respond and adapt to a warming planet,” Minister of Natural Resources, Dr. Vincent Biruta said.

As a party to the UN convention on climate change, our expectation from Paris is to come up with a new agreement that enables all countries to combat climate change effectively and that accelerates the transition towards low-carbon societies and economies,” Minister Biruta added.


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