Premier calls for more climate-friendly development approaches

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente addresses delegates at the One Planet Summit that is underway in the Kenyan capital Nairobi yesterday. During his speech, Ngirente rallied global support for the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol to avert adverse effect of climate change. / Courtesy

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has called on countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in a bid to avoid an additional half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

The Prime Minister was speaking in Nairobi, Kenya at the One Planet Summit alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Interim President of the World Bank Group, Kristalina Georgieva, and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed.

DR Congo’s new president, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi was also in attendance.

Ngirente said that by implementing the amendment with energy efficiency, the world can avert an additional half a degree Celsius of warming.

The amendment has been described by experts as a key pillar of global Climate Action. The agreement seeks to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons, the greenhouse chemicals better known as HFCs – that usually used in refrigerators and air conditioners, among other coolants – which are blamed for heating up the planet.

The Kigali Amendment aims at reducing hydrofluorocarbons by more than 80 per cent over the next 30 years.

“The Government of Rwanda thanks the 69 nations that have already ratified the Kigali Amendment, and encourages all Member States to do so in order to fast-track the phase-out of these warming gases, and strengthen global climate action. If we implement the Kigali Amendment with energy efficiency, we can avoid an additional half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century,” the Premier said.

He said that in the face of growing pressure on the environment as a result of climate change, it is necessary for countries to work towards development models that are clean, green and climate-friendly.

“Never before have the pressures on our environment been greater. In many parts of the world, climate change is already affecting our societies. Economies and ecosystems are struggling to keep up with the rate of warming,” he said.

Ngirente said that among the most critical climate interventions necessary on the African continent at the moment are management of water resources and reducing dependency on biomass as a source of cooking energy.

“Water resources management and reducing dependency on biomass as a source of cooking energy are two critical aspects of climate action in Africa, and necessitate innovative solutions. I encourage nations across the continent to work together to address these challenges for the health and well-being of all,” he said.

He called on countries to be part of the cooperation initiatives to address challenges for the health and well-being of all.

In the aspect, he said that Rwanda, in partnership with the UN Environment, Global Environment Facility, the World Economic Forum and other governments recently established the African Circular Economy Alliance.

Inviting countries to be part of the initiative, the Premier said that the alliance aims at advancing the uptake of the circular economy across the continent through sharing experience and facilitating new partnerships between public and private institutions.

“I invite all African nations to join the Alliance. Our common goal should be the creation of a zero waste society that will address environmental issues, boost economic growth and job creation,” he added.