Climate change effects, if not mitigated and lessened, could erode between five and seven per cent of Rwanda’s GDP by 2050, World Bank Report has warned. The report dubbed “Rwanda Country Climate Development Report (CCDR)” was launched last week. It shows that while contributing only 0.003 per cent to global greenhouse gas emissions, Rwanda is vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. It also shows that climate change is likely to increase variability in crop yields and agricultural production, cause severe floods, reduce labour productivity, and impact demand for tourism. “The Country Climate Development Report estimates that if these risks materialise, Rwanda’s GDP levels can drop by between five and seven per cent below baseline in multiple years by 2050, with negative impact on private consumption, exports and government revenues,” reads part of the report. During years of severe floods such extreme events are forecast to reduce GDP by an additional 4.4 per cent, the study warns saying that, “Climate change is also expected to slow the pace of structural transformation in Rwanda, compromising future economic growth and poverty reduction.” Needed interventions The Rwanda Country Climate Development Report highlights key interventions that are needed in Rwanda to strengthen climate resilience in the context of the country’s development priorities and its commitments under the Paris Agreement aimed to keep global warming below 1.5-degree Celsius. The report highlights those measures classified as mitigating emissions from livestock, agriculture, and land use (which together account for 74 per cent of total emissions), include investments in conservation agriculture, animal husbandry, and soil and water conservation, which will also increase Rwanda’s resilience to climate shocks. By strengthening resilience to climate change, the study says that implementing the commitments from 2021 to 2030 is estimated to require new investments of $11 billion, of which close to $7 billion is conditional on new financing. This is equivalent to spending an average of 8.8 per cent of GDP each year through 2030, the report shows. “The additional climate investments in agriculture, energy, and infrastructure simulated in the report could also accelerate the pace of structural transformation,” the report recommends. Soil conservation agriculture is among the recommendations considering that Rwanda loses Rwf800 billion annually due to soil erosion. Elimination of current subsidy on mineralised fertilisers while enhancing the support of the production of organic and locally produced compost could promote soil fertility benefits and reduce pollution of groundwater resources, the study recommends. The recommendations also suggest Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) initiative that rewards landscape and ecosystem restoration, which with other PES initiatives, would encourage private sector investment in land and water infrastructure. The study also endorses development and distribution of climate-resilient seed, the investment in affordable post-harvest and storage solutions and the improvement of crop and livestock management through climate responsive extension services adding that this could be supported by innovation with respect to insurance. Forestry management, low-carbon energy and transport are among other recommendations. Rwanda should also consider eliminating tax duties from all renewable or cleaner sources of energy, experts advised in the report, noting that this is to be done in conjunction with the rapid implementation and national roll-out of clean cooking stoves, which will lead to a reduction in unsustainable firewood, charcoal and fossil energy consumption for cooking, and associated emissions and health costs, Green buildings, waste management are among many needed interventions according to experts. Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Director for Rwanda, called for both public and private sector investment to mitigate climate change explaining that while Rwanda’s contributions to greenhouse emissions is negligible, it is shocked by climate effects. The consequences of extreme natural disasters including frequent floods and droughts derail sustainable growth and livelihoods of people, she said. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister For Environment, said that the report will serve as a tool for the government and all stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost adaptation, while delivering on broader development goals. “Climate change threatens to undermine future economic growth and poverty eradication. That is why the report can inform the policy and investment choice for low-carbon and resilient development. It is a tool for government and stakeholders to reduce gas emissions,” she said as she acknowledged recommendations from the report.