Reference is made to a story that ran in your paper dated February 25 titled, “Rwanda assents to Copenhagen Accord.”
The Ministry of Environment and Lands would like to clarify a few facts.
In the story, the Minister of Environment and Lands is quoted as saying: “Our ambition is to become a carbon-free country.
This is not very easy to achieve since it takes a long process, but certainly we are on the road to attain this. It involves a lot, including cutting our power generation rate.”
It should be understood that Rwanda certainly has the ambition to develop a carbon free economy as soon as possible, but going carbon free doesn’t come by cutting down our power generation rate and capacity.
We actually need to increase our power generation capacity and rate to sustain the growth of our economy.
Going carbon free requires instead that we drastically reduce, among others, our dependence on fossil fuels including in power generation as well as in the transport sector whereby all our motor vehicles are run by petrol.
There are some achievements in that direction, including the current thrust to develop new and renewable energies, including hydro-power plants, power generation from methane gas, the Eastern Province bio-diesel project, biogas, as well as solar energy, but there is still a long way to go.
Going carbon free is not impossible; just challenging in our own context. But with political will at the highest level and strong determination we will certainly get there. Having said that, Rwanda remains a greenhouse gases (GHG) net sink.
Ministry of Environment and Lands