Despite concerted efforts by the government to reduce emissions of green house gasses(GHG) as part of a wider move to mitigate the consequences of climate change, a report compiled by environmental specialists from Oxford University has revealed that emissions are expected to double by 2020.
In his presentation, the Director of the project dubbed Economics of Climate Change in Rwanda, Paul Watkiss, acknowledged the steps taken by the government in reducing GHG emissions. He however added that these emissions will increase in the next 15 years.
“Rwanda is already a success story in implementing low carbon options, but it is also believed that the emissions will double in the next 15 years,” he observed
“It is projected that the strong growth planned in the vision 2020 document as well as other changes from population and urbanization will increase future total and per capita GHG emissions significantly. Even though Rwanda is initiating policies that are consistent with low carbon development,” the report reads in part.
It goes ahead to reveal that the future increases are expected to be driven by the transport and agriculture sectors which are likely to become the ‘dominant sources of emissions’.
On top of that, the electricity sector which currently has the high share of renewable energy (hydro), its plans for the development of Lake Kivu would start to increase the ‘absolute’ emissions from electricity generation in the short-term and potentially increase the carbon intensity in the medium term.
Rose Mukankomeje, the Director General of REMA, said they will continue strengthening the already existing low carbon options like biomass energy strategy through efficient cooking stoves and other measures in order to strike a balance between attaining the projected developments while keeping GHG emissions low,
“We acknowledge the likely increment in the GHG emission in the future, but we need the development. So we shall work to strengthen the already existing low carbon options,” said Mukankomeje.
A number of low carbon options are already in place, including the biomass energy strategy which includes the usage of efficient cooking stoves, biogas and reforestation.
Solar power plants and the methane gas in Lake Kivu are also likely to help in regulating GHG emissions in the future.