Rwanda has joined more than 80 nations to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change – a historic international treaty that aims to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius with an ambition to keep increases below 1.5 degrees. As one of the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of a warming planet, Rwanda is committed to both mitigating further growth in greenhouse gases emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement will provide the much-needed international support to help vulnerable countries like Rwanda achieve this.
The Agreement was made law in Rwanda through a Presidential Order ratifying the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Rwanda then deposited its instrument of ratification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 6 October, which was signed by Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo.
“We are proud to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and are hopeful the global momentum for climate action will limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In Rwanda, we are working hard to demonstrate what well-managed climate finance can achieve through our own Green Fund, which is creating green jobs while also building climate resilience in our communities. We look forward to joining with our international partners and friends to expand these efforts as we strive to be a developed and low carbon nation,” said Minister Mushikiwabo.
The ratification comes as the world prepares to meet in Marrakesh for the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change with renewed momentum for climate action – thanks to the successful adoption of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Kigali Amendment will avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century by phasing out the use of dangerous greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This historic agreement is a demonstration of the practical action the international community hopes to promote in Morocco next month.
About the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
The Paris Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016, thirty days after at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. The first session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement will take place in Marrakesh in November in conjunction with the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Agreement is a comprehensive framework for action on climate change, guiding the steps all nations will take to reduce their contribution to global warming. The Agreement also includes the provision for US $100 billion per year of climate finance and technology transfer to support developing nations to deal with the impacts of climate change and make the transition to a green economy.
About Climate Change in Rwanda
Since the 1970s, the average temperature in Rwanda has increased by 1.4°C. If no substantive action is taken to mitigate global climate change, it is predicted that the average temperature in Rwanda will rise by 2.5°C by the middle of the century. Rwanda is already experiencing the impacts of a warming planet, including increased and longer droughts and more frequent and severe floods leading to landslides.