By Staff Writer
Rwanda could become an “emitter” of greenhouse gases by 2030 unless it implements appropriate measures, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) warned on Wednesday, as the country marked World Environment Day in the capital Kigali.
REMA said in the Rwanda Third National Communication Report on Climate Change that agriculture sector is the leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Rwanda.
The report showed that greenhouse gas emissions per capita increased from 532.39 kg per capita in 2006 to 676.23 kg per capita in 2015, representing an annual increase of 2.46 percent.
It showed that in 2015, agriculture emissions stood at 70.4 percent of national total emissions, followed by energy 20.11 percent, waste 7.55 percent while industrial processes and products use contributed 1.08 percent.
But it categorized Rwanda as “sink and not emitter,” meaning that although there were more emissions, their removals by forestry and agroforestry were much more than ones emitted.
Rwanda will continue to be a sink up to 2050 if activities leading to reduction of greenhouse gases emission are implemented such as appropriate management of existing forestry and increasing agroforestry areas, according to the report.
“However, without implementation of appropriate activities Rwanda will become an “emitter” by 2030,” it warned.
The emissions from agriculture were dominated by fertilizer urea application, and enteric fermentation.
The emission from enteric fermentation and manure management were linked with cattle and mainly with increasing of dairy cattle through national cattle stocking Girinka program.
In 2015, the emissions from urea application alone were almost doubling the total emissions from energy sector, the report said.
In the energy sector, most emissions came from other sectors including commercial, intuitional and domestic use of energy.
The report called on Rwanda to undertake appropriate management of both solid and liquid waste to contribute to reduction of waste emissions although emissions from waste were not significant at national level.
It further said the emissions from Industrial process and product use are very low, noting that instead of planning to reduce greenhouse gases emission in this sector, the country needs to develop much more this sector because it lags behind.
The reduction of emissions in this sector should concern only gases which classified as pollutant rather than greenhouse gases emissions, according to REMA.
Speaking at the report launch Fatina Mukarubibi, the Permanent Secretary, ministry of Environment, said controlling the sources of emissions is the best way to go, which requires combined efforts from individuals to government levels through policies, laws, regulations and actual activities.
Coletha Ruhamya, the director general of REMA, said everyone needs to contribute to fighting air pollution.
Adopting clean alternative sources of energy for cooking, ensuring regular service of vehicles and avoiding open burnings are among the simple measures to beat air pollution, she said.