Climate Finance

Learn about the role of finance in addressing the climate crisis, how Rwanda is utilising finance to build resilience and the institutions work in and with Rwanda to ensure a strong return on investment for both people and the planet.

What is climate finance?

Climate finance refers to local, national, or transnational financing that supports mitigation and adaptation actions to address climate change. It is typically drawn from public, private and alternative sources of finance.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement all call for financial assistance from Parties with more financial resources to those that are less endowed and more vulnerable. This recognises that the contribution of countries to climate change and their capacity to prevent it and cope with its consequences vary considerably. 

Climate finance is critical for mitigation efforts because large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions. Climate finance is equally important for adaptation, as significant financial resources are needed to adapt to the adverse effects and reduce the impacts of a changing climate.

What are the main sources of climate finance?

There are a growing number of multilateral sources of climate finance, including the following fund that promote public-private partnerships to catalyse private sector investment:

How can organisations and individuals access climate finance through the Green Climate Fund in Rwanda?

Climate finance can be accessed through different accredited entities at both the national and international level. The leading source of climate finance, the Green Climate Fund, seeks to have an impact within eight mitigation and adaptation areas, including:

  • Health, food, and water security
  • Livelihoods of people and communities
  • Energy generation and access
  • Transport
  • Infrastructure and built environment
  • Ecosystem and ecosystems services
  • Buildings, cities, industries, and appliances
  • Forests and land use

In Rwanda, the Ministry of Environment is the only national accredited entity to the Green Climate Fund.

Below are steps to follow to access climate finance from the Green Climate Fund through the Ministry of Environment: 

Step 1. One seeking climate finance should identify a project.

Step 2. The project developer should prepare a project concept note.

Step 3. After preparing a project concept note, the developer must consult the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (as the National Designated Authority - NDA) to request a No Objection letter. This letter is issued after a thorough review of the concept note, checking if the project responds to the urgency of climate mitigation and adaptation and has followed the Green Climate Fund criteria and is within the fund’s priority areas.

Step 4. Once a developer hasbeen issued a No Objection letter, the concept note is developed into the full proposal and later submitted to the Green Climate Fund for approval. The Ministry of Environment, as the accredited entity, provides support during this process.

Step 5. The funding proposal is then evaluated by the Green Climate Fund.

Step 6. Typically, a decision is then taken by the Green Climate Fund on whether to grant funding to the project. At times, the fund may share comments to address and the proposal is then re-submitted for approval. Once approved and funds have been disbursed, implementation of the project can begin.

Apart from the Ministry of Environment as the national accredited entity to the Green Climate Fund, there are other accredited international organisations through which climate finance can be accessed, including:

  • JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)
  • African Development Bank 
  • Enable (Belgium)
  • KFW (German Development Bank)
  • UNDP
  • IFC
  • IUCN

How can I apply for a No Objection letter and other services from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority?

To access climate finance related services from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, click on the link below:

Climate Finance Services

What is the Rwanda Green Fund?

The Rwanda Green Fund, known locally as FONERWA, is a groundbreaking environment and climate change Fund, established by the Government of Rwanda in 2012. The fund is the country’s main vehicle for climate finance. The mission of the fund is to mobilise, manage, monitor, and facilitate access to green and climate finance, and provide financial and technical support to catalyse climate resilient development impacts at scale.

The Fund carries out periodic public Calls for Proposals and all applicants have a one month window to submit their project concepts, developed according to pre-established criteria. All proposals received are taken through a rigorous screening process.

The project or programme proposal screening is carried out in a fair, transparent, competitive multi-step process. There are currently three main financial instruments that are provided by the fund:

  • Grant: Accessed by public institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Innovation Grant: This product is a performance based investment for research and development, proof-of-concept, and demonstration. Private sector companies can apply for up to USD 300,000 and must provide 25% match funding.
  • Credit Line: The Fund provides Rwanda’s cheapest money with a credit line that provides Financing at 11.45% - well below market rates. Created with the Development Bank of Rwanda, private sector companies must provide 30% match funding.
Visit the Rwanda Green Fund

What is the role of the Ministry of Environment and Rwanda Environment Management Authority in facilitating access to climate finance through the Green Climate Fund?

The Ministry of Environment is the only nationally accredited entity in Rwanda. The ministry partners with the Green Climate Fund to implement projects by converting concepts into action. The role of the ministry is to work alongside the stakeholders to develop project ideas, and submit funding proposals for the Green Climate Fund Board to approve. It is through the Ministry of Environment, as the accredited entity, that organisations and individuals can access climate finance.

Visit the Ministry of Environment

The Rwanda Environment Management Authority is a National Designated Authority (NDA). It is a government institution that serves as an interface between Rwanda and the Green Climate Fund. It provides a broad strategic oversight of the Green Climate Fund’s activities in Rwanda and communicates the country’s priorities for financing low-emission and climate-resilient development. The Rwanda Environment Management Authority also facilitates through reviews of project concept notes and issuance of No Objection letters - one of the requirements by the GCF.

Visit the Rwanda Environment Management Authority