The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has received 2020 nationally determined contributions (NDCs) from Rwanda and Andorra. Rwanda’s updated NDC and Andorra’s second NDC bring the number of Parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change that have submitted their 2020 NDCs to 10.
In addition Rwanda’s and Andorra’s submissions, made on May 19 and May 20, 2020, respectively, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Norway, and Chile have updated their NDCs, and Marshall Islands, Suriname, and Moldova have submitted their second NDCs.
The 2020 NDC submissions to date represent less than 3% of global emissions, as calculated by Climate Watch, a data platform managed by the World Resources Institute (WRI).
During the 2019 Climate Action Summit, more than 70 countries committed to deliver more ambitious NDCs in 2020, reaffirming their commitment to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement decision requests Parties to communicate an NDC every five years, with the expectation that successive NDCs will represent a progression beyond the previous ones.
Parties with an NDC time frame up to 2025 are expected, by 2020, to communicate new NDCs, and Parties with a time frame up to 2030 are expected to communicate or update their NDCs by 2020. These communications are crucial to inform how Parties implement the Agreement in their laws and practices, and what is needed to achieve more ambitious outcomes.
Andorra’s responsibility for global emissions is estimated at 0.001%. In its first NDC, Andorra committed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37%, or 193.73 gigagrams of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from its business-as-usual (BAU) scenario emissions, in 2030. Though its overall 2030 emission reduction target remains unchanged, in its second NDC, Andorra commits to carbon neutrality by 2050. Andorra thereby joins more than 75 countries that pledged to deliver a 2050 net zero emissions strategy by 2020.
At the 2019 Climate Action Summit, 47 LDCs presented a vision to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2050 “in the context of resources being available to do so.” LDCs also emphasised their goal to deliver climate-resilient development pathways and secure full access to sufficient and affordable renewable energy for all by 2030.
Rwanda is the first LDC to make its 2020 NDC submission. Its updated NDC emphasises the country’s key concern of adaptation, given its high vulnerability to climate change, and informs about its recent policies, including National Strategy for Transformation (2018-2024) and National Environment and Climate Change Policy enacted in 2019, highlighting the goal of achieving climate resilience.
Rwanda’s updated NDC strengthens the first NDC for both the mitigation and adaptation contributions, informed by improved data collection and analysis. Sector- and project-based modeling allowed for estimating the country’s mitigation potential and developing quantified conditional and unconditional contributions through 2030.
Regarding mitigation targets, Rwanda presents an estimated total emissions reduction potential of around 4.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in 2030, or a 38% reduction against the BAU emissions in the same year of 12.1 million tCO2e. This is represented in an unconditional target of a 16% reduction relative to BAU in the year 2030, or 1.9 million tCO2e, based on domestically supported and implemented mitigation measures and policies. An additional conditional reduction of 22%, or 2.7 million tCO2e, in that year is based on the provision of international support and funding.
These GHG mitigation targets cover carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and include sectoral emissions from energy, industrial processes and product use, waste, and agriculture. Sources from forestry and other land use, the NDC notes, may be included within future contributions.
The submission outlines sector-specific implementation plans for both adaptation interventions and mitigation measures. They inform of key implementation aspects, including: implementing agencies; timelines; estimated funding requirements; respective adaptation or mitigation co-benefits; and linkages with the SDGs.
The sectoral area of emissions from energy, for example, includes the transport sector. Unconditional mitigation measures in the transport sector are vehicle emissions standards, which aim to increase emissions performance of the national vehicle fleet, including through tax incentives and scrappage of older vehicles. Conditional mitigation measures relate to public transport infrastructure, including the bus system and non-motorised transport lanes, as well as electric vehicle programmes.
Adaptation interventions in the transport sector involve climate-resilient road infrastructure. Together these adaptation and mitigation actions aim at reducing local emissions of harmful pollutants from conventional diesel and gasoline vehicles, improving transport services, and reducing motorized private transport.
The adaptation component in Rwanda’s updated NDC involves quantified targets for adaptation and resilience, criteria-based evaluation of priority interventions, and development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for adaptation actions to strengthen national capacity for resource mobilisation. Rwanda presents 24 adaptation interventions, with cross-sectoral and sector specific performance indicators and targets, including for the water, agriculture, land and forestry, human settlement, health, transport, and mining sectors.
Interventions in the agriculture sector are aimed, among others, at sustainable land-use management and climate-resilient crops, resilient livestock, and value addition facilities and technologies. Other interventions involve improvement of forest management and promotion of afforestation and reforestation and, in the area of national water security, wetlands restoration, water storage and efficient water use, and conservation practices.
Rwanda’s NDC further notes that additional monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements contained in the Paris Agreement provide “an enhanced basis for Rwanda’s international reporting requirements.” Rwanda underscores the value of MRV frameworks for both mitigation and adaptation measures as these enable the monitoring of these measures’ effectiveness and facilitate the country’s access to climate finance.
For mitigation, the NDC outlines a framework of indicators for each of the key emitting sectors, enabling the monitoring of counterfactual BAU baseline emissions and actual emissions arising from implementation of NDC mitigation measures. This will also facilitate tracking of climate finance flows for NDC implementation and other forms of international support.
Rwanda’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting framework for adaptation, including MRV of financing of adaptation measures, aims at facilitating the results-oriented reporting of indicators that are relevant at global and national levels. The global versus national clustering serves as a guide to identify targeted resource mobilisation from both domestic and external sources.
The submission notes that Rwanda will require means of implementation for its NDC, namely finance, capacity building, and technology transfer. The NDC estimates the total cost for Rwanda’s identified NDC mitigation measures through 2030 at $5.7 billion, and the cost of adaptation measures at over $5.3 billion. This represents a combined funding requirement of around $11 billion, of which 40% accounts for unconditional measures and 60% for conditional measures.
Implementation of prioritised policies and actions assumes the continued use of existing and planned national and international financial sources. While the government continues to commit significant resources to climate change-relevant strategies, full implementation of strategic mitigation actions is conditional on the support of international stakeholders.
Rwanda intends to meet its conditional contribution through the use of climate finance, international market mechanisms, and potential involvement in international cooperative approaches.
By Beate Antonich, SDG Knowledge Hub