Germany commits $39.3m to Rwanda climate action, pledges support at COP

Germany commits $39.3m to Rwanda climate action, pledges support at COP
Rwanda's minister of finance and economic planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana (Right) and Dr. Simon Koppers, Head of the Central Africa Division of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (Left) sign cooperation deals in Kigali on October 26, 2022.

Germany has committed $39.3 million (€39.5 million) to mitigation and adaptation projects under Rwanda's 2030 climate targets as both governments move to jointly rally industrialised nations' support to climate vulnerable countries at the upcoming global climate negotiations.

The funding is a portion of $97.7 million (€98.1 million) total commitment by the German government in bilateral cooperation deals signed with Rwanda this week at the end of days of negotiations by both countries' delegations. 

German government officials said the funds are purely grants to be disbursed over the next two years. $30.8 million (€31 million) of the commitment are subject to approval by the German Parliament.

Additional funds were committed to areas such as domestic vaccine production and tackling poverty, said Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda's minister of finance and economic planning.

In particular, the climate funding package will help operationalize a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) facility under Rwandan Green Fund (FONERWA), allowing both public and private actors to access funding for activities and projects in line with the country's climate action targets set for 2030.

NDCs are individual countries' climate action plans to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts.

The launch of the facility is slated for November 14 at the upcoming UN climate negotiations (COP27) in Egypt, Rwanda Post has learnt.

“My minister Svenja Schulze for economic cooperation and development has been invited by the Rwandan government to take part in the event to launch this, and just yesterday we talked about inviting other development partners to come to this event,” revealed Dr. Simon Koppers, Head of the Central Africa Division of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mr. Koppers said the launch will be accompanied by technical cooperation for capacity development for NDC implementation for public and private actors.

Funding shortfall

With Rwanda increasingly bearing the brunt of climate change in light of recurrent droughts, floods, landslides and other vagaries that threaten overall economic growth and livelihoods, government has been angling ways to embark on mitigation and adaptation measures albeit with funding shortfalls.

The country’s weatherman reported that adverse weather events associated with loss of lives, property and infrastructure intensified year in year out since 2015 to level never seen in about 40 years.

Specific details of the exact toll of climate change and the funding needed to operationalize the planned NDC facility were not shared by press time.

However, the environment ministry estimates that it would cost $11 billion to fully implement the mitigation and adaptation measures in the period to 2030.

“The updated NDC interventions will require funding to the tune of $11 billion, of which $5.3 billion is estimated to cover adaptation costs,” Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) indicated in the adaptation communication to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change submitted last year on October 29.

The $39.3 million package to the Rwandan-German climate and development partnership will allow Rwandan authorities to implement a sustainable and climate compatible urbanization programme under a project that seeks to make coastal cities along lake Kivu climate resilient in light of recurrent flooding and landslides in the area.

More funding will go in the area of science and research to come up with scientific findings to support evidence-based climate action.

Also read: Road to ‘African’ COP27: Activists talk tough on climate reparations, injustices

Rwanda is in the group of climate vulnerable countries (V20 Group) that joined the so called Global Shield Against Climate Risks, a financial cooperation initiative supported by G7 countries including Germany to rally support to respond to climate-related damages.

Germany ambassador to Rwanda Thomas Kurz said the finance ministers from the V20 Group and the G7 Presidency recently reached agreement that paves the way for the launch of the initiative at COP27.

“Among Germany’s priorities for this year’s COP is climate action in Africa,  and stepping up adaptation support is really priority for us. This mainly means addressing topic of loss and damage compensation,” he said.

‘African’ COP27: Why expect highly contentious meeting in Egypt