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Rwanda’s Bold Agenda at COP28: Pioneering Electric Vehicles, Carbon Markets, and a Green Revolution

As the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) approaches in Dubai, Rwanda is poised to make headlines with its visionary approach to combating climate change. Led by Minister of Environment Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s delegation is set to unveil an ambitious climate action plan that not only showcases the country’s achievements but also introduces groundbreaking initiatives to propel green growth on a global scale.

Electric Vehicles: A Driving Force for Change

At the heart of Rwanda’s climate strategy lies a revolutionary push towards electric vehicles (EVs). Minister Mujawamariya emphasizes the importance of adopting solutions at COP28, stating, “What we want at COP28 are solutions to climate change.” Rwanda’s commitment to green growth is exemplified by tax exemptions on EVs, zero import duty rates for electric and hybrid vehicles, and a reduction in energy costs for charging stations.

To achieve full EV adoption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent by 2030, Rwanda seeks a substantial investment of up to $900 million. The country aims to convert 20 percent of its public transportation to electric vehicles by 2030, a move projected to cut 72,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

In recent collaborations with Vivo Energy and Go Green Transport, Rwanda has taken significant steps towards sustainable mobility, including a deal for over 200 electric buses and the introduction of 10 full electric mini-buses.

Pioneering the Carbon Market

Rwanda’s commitment to environmental sustainability extends to the launch of a carbon market framework at COP28. Minister Mujawamariya reveals, “We have so many projects for the carbon market.” From clean cooking technologies to green transport and forestry projects, Rwanda aims to utilize the carbon market as a channel for climate finance.

With a climate action plan requiring $11 billion up to 2030, Rwanda plans to plant 63 million trees, emphasizing the transition from wood fuel to cooking gas. A $530 million natural gas plant, utilizing Lake Kivu methane gas, is underway to produce clean energy for cooking, vehicles, and industries.

Renewable Energy Revolution

Rwanda’s commitment to renewable energy takes center stage, with a target to have 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Minister of State Patricie Uwase outlines ongoing hydropower and solar energy projects, including the Rusumo hydropower project and the Nyabarongo 2 power plant.

With these initiatives, Rwanda is aligning itself with global efforts outlined in the joint report by the COP28 Presidency, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the Global Renewables Alliance to triple global renewable power capacity and double annual energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

Rwanda’s Green Vision for COP28

Rwanda’s presence at COP28 signifies not just a commitment but a proactive approach towards mitigating climate change. From pioneering electric vehicles to venturing into the carbon market and revolutionizing its energy landscape, Rwanda is setting a powerful example for global climate action. As the world gathers in Dubai, all eyes will be on Rwanda as it unfolds its green vision for a sustainable and resilient future.

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