We need transparency in climate finance, tech transfer, Dr Biruta tells global leaders

Environment minister Vincent Biruta has urged signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change, mainly the developed countries, to ensure efforts to mitigate climate change are transparent and expedited.
Residents of Rusororo prepare to plant trees during Umuganda last year. File.
Residents of Rusororo prepare to plant trees during Umuganda last year. File.

Environment minister Vincent Biruta has urged signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change, mainly the developed countries, to ensure efforts to mitigate climate change are transparent and expedited.

While making Rwanda’s case at the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23), in Bonn, Germany, Dr Biruta said that while some progress has been made toward climate change mitigation, there remain substantive issues that require “urgent resolve” from the parties.

The two-week Bonn Climate change talks ended on Friday.

Biruta led Rwandan delegation comprising Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) director-general Coletha Ruhamya, Green Fund (FONERWA) coordinator Alex Muliisa, among other technocrats.

“We need to increase the pace of developing the Paris Agreement rulebook, we need to allow the Adaptation Fund to serve the Paris Agreement, and we need to ensure the same rigour of transparency that will be applied to emissions reporting is also applied to climate finance and technology transfer,” Biruta said.

He said that by harnessing the best knowledge and technology, the world can reduce emissions and prepare for life on a planet that is already significantly warmer and will only get hotter.

“But to do so, vulnerable countries like Rwanda need to work with other nations that have the financial and technical know-how to achieve climate resilience. This extends to addressing the real consequences of a warming planet, including health issues from air pollution and vector borne diseases,” he said.

“Rwanda’s experience has shown that transformational change is only possible with the right legal and institutional frameworks, paired with comprehensive strategies and policies.”

At the opening of COP23 on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also labelled climate change as the “defining threat of our time,” urging parties to raise efforts on five areas; emission, adaptation, finance, partnership and leadership.

“Partnership with private sector, local and regional governments and civil society will make or break efforts to implement the Paris Agreement. In particular, the only way to keep below 2°C /1.5° C is to mobilise private sector to move on an energy transformation,” Guterres said.

Countries ratify Kigali Amendment

Meanwhile, at COP23, countries continued to announce the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. So far, 19 countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment, meaning only one deposit is needed for the amendment to enter into force.

The latest countries to ratify the historical Kigali deal are UK, Finland, Maldives, Germany, Comoros, Lao, Luxembourg, and Slovakia.

“With the potential to avert half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century - and double that if we invest in energy efficiency - the amendment is one practical way to mitigate further emissions. I encourage nations that have not yet done so to ratify the Kigali Amendment and begin the work of phasing out hydrofluorocarbons,” Biruta said at COP23.

“Such demonstrations of tangible action will spur other nations to invest in the important work of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and give hope to citizens that we are addressing the challenge with the seriousness and speed it deserves.”

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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