Climate change is becoming an increasingly threatening issue to our planet. The burning question now is how should we address climate change issues and leverage #Finance required for taking comprehensive actions? This was the purpose of a South-South Learning Exchange on financing climate compatible development that took place in Kigali, Rwanda.

Forty participants from across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean met to share experiences. They discussed what is working and not working in different countries when it comes to financing climate change resilience projects. The learning experience was organized by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) in collaboration with Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA). It's aimed to discuss challenges and opportunities related to long term finance for low emission and climate resilience development in developing countries. 

Juliane Nier, a learning manager at CDKN, said that participants' discussions revolved around the kind of approaches countries are using to organize resources for climate change competitive development and poverty reduction. Rwanda was chosen to host the workshop for having successfully set up a national climate change fund (FONERWA). The latter contributes to Rwanda's sustainable management of natural resources, climate resilient and green economic growth. 

Novel Renewable Energy is a private company that has benefited finances from FONERWA. The company introduces new age efficient conversion technology and is actually implementing a 500 kw micro hydro power and another project that will transform agricultural residue (rice husk) into clean energy. 

The company's managing director, Mr. Ankush Chhabria, said that the two projects will save around 3500 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions per year and create 250 green jobs. He noted that the learning exchange was a good platform for each participating country to align its climate change strategy with others. "Each country has similar questions: where to put the money and how do we put it to best use?" inquired Mr. Ankush.

Ethiopia has also an active fund dubbed Climate Resilient Green Economy Facility that works with public institutions. Ethiopia's climate change resilience strategy looks at different sectors to reduce green gas emissions. CDKN - Ethiopia country's engagement lead, Mr. Robi Redda, said that the country has made substantial investments in green mitigation and resilience projects. He noted that Ethiopia government invested in light rail transit system in the city of Addis Ababa. The light rail transit system is a large coverage of the capital city and was built in partnership with the Chinese government. 

In addition to that, Ethiopia is also self financing a big dam on the Nile for billion of dollars. It will generate clean energy to power the rail way instead of coal energy. The project will therefore remove coal from the public transport system meaning green gas reduction. 

Resilience strategies not only reduce green gas in the atmosphere but also alleviate poverty. Increasing access to clean energy has a positive impact on countries' economic development. It enables communities to set up small-scale enterprises, schools, among others.

Professor Philip N. Darren from the Center of International Development and Training (CIDT) said that this opportunity was to have people from the Southern hemisphere share their experiences and learn from Rwanda, that has got the leading fund on climate change in Africa. #Investment #Sustainable development