By Padili Mikomangwa, The Exchange/NECJOGHA
In East Africa, Rwanda—which is one of the first nations to ban the use of plastic bags has
become one of the first countries to submit a new national climate plan which will strengthen global efforts to tackle climate change ahead of COP26, according to information from Modernghana.
Amid battling with the COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda has stepped and brought stringent
measures, hence—Rwanda is increasingly experiencing the impacts of climate change. Rainfall has become increasingly intense and the variability is predicted to increase by 5 per cent to 10
per cent, according to United Nations Framework Conventions for Climate Change
According to Modernghana, the ‘nationally determined contribution’, or NDC—agreed by
member states, will see a 16 per cent reduction in emissions compared to Rwanda's current trajectory by 2030 and a further 22 per cent reduction if the country is helped with technology
and finance from richer nations, bringing the total reduction to 38 per cent.
Further, the landlocked country’s NDC also outlines plans for adaptation across seven sectors to help the country adapt to the changing climate.
According to UNFCC the Government of Rwanda is committed to taking urgent action to
mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Hence, the country seeks to contribute to the ambitious goal of limiting temperature rise to 2 centigrade with efforts to reach 1.5
centigrade agreed under the Paris Agreement.
In that context, because Rwanda is highly vulnerable to climate change, adaptation is a key
concern and a priority for the country. Mohamed Adow, Director of Nairobi-based think tank
Power Shift Africa, complimented on Rwanda’s initiative, saying “It’s great to see the first African country stepping forward to submit a new climate plan as part of the Paris Agreement. What makes the Paris Agreement an effective tool for tackling climate change is this very act, the strengthening of climate action every 5 years”
This step is rather vital for the country, as Rwanda is increasingly experiencing the impacts of climate change. Rainfall has become increasingly intense and the variability is predicted to increase by 5 per cent to 10 per cent. “Africa has done the least to cause the climate crisis and suffers from it the most. But it has a vital role to play in tackling it and other countries should take note of this leadership and follow
suit.” He added.
According to information from UNFCCC, just like in other African nations in Rwanda
temperature increases have also been experienced, with records from 1971 to 2016 showing rises in mean temperature of between 1.4°C and 2. 56°C in the southwest and eastern regions of Rwanda.
“Rwanda is set to host a rescheduled Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the leaders of fellow Commonwealth countries such as Boris Johnson, Justin Trudeau, Scott
Morrison, and Jacinda Ardern should take heed and ensure their own new climate plans are
equally radical.” The think-tank chief argued.
Changes in temperature and precipitation and their distributions are the key drivers of climate and weather-related disasters that negatively affect Rwandans and the overall economy.