At a glance
Rwanda's total Green House Gases emissions were estimated in 2015 at 7.6 million tons CO2 eq. (-3.8 million tons CO2 eq. if sinks of Forestry and other Land Use are considered). Energy contributes 1.5 million tons CO2eq., and in particular biomass for cooking 0.7 million ton CO2eq. Rwandan households, productive use-units and social institutions still largely rely on biomass for cooking and use very inefficient cooking devices. This contributes to climate change, through forest degradation and unsustainable use of forest resources, aggravating effects on land pressure and emissions from incomplete combustion, both harmful for climate and health of the users. In spite of a strong commitment by the Government of Rwanda, activities in the sector have been so far scattered and without concrete scope. Especially, for the most part they have been donor driven and non- structured, thus not allowing the establishment of a sustainable dissemination system for modern, clean and efficient cooking systems including devices and processed fuels that would permit a significantly reduction on climate impact and pressure on the natural resources, and improve the users' living conditions.
This action aims to address these challenges by setting up a sustainable production and dissemination chain for Improved Cookstoves as well as for improved or alternative fuel through a threefold approach: help increasing production capacities, increasing awareness and support of an intensified dissemination and trade structure. The action will support a wide range of ICS in the view to build a thriving viable and sustainable market benefiting local entrepreneurship, the action aims to avoid market distortion by paying any direct subsidies on the sales prices and rather incentivise the value chain.
The action is perfectly aligned with the National policy framework related to climate change and environment and four of the actions identified in Rwanda's 21 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), specifically the NDC target of diffusion of improved cook stoves to 100% of all households by 2030.
Cooking is a vital activity and 97% of all Rwandan households rely on traditional biomass-based cooking systems, out of which only 30% are improved cooking equipment. Only 3% of the population have access to cleaner technologies and fuels. Not cooking is not an option, the question is how to mitigate the effects of inefficient traditional biomass use on climate, environment and user's health by reducing fuel needs for cooking or increasing the base of sustainable and truly renewable cooking fuels with a low-carbon footprint. Results of National Forest Inventory of 2015 and consecutive analysis of supply and demand of woody biomass reveal that forest resources are seriously degraded in Rwanda. While forest loss is often due to expansion of agricultural land, the forest degradation in Rwanda is mainly attributed to the inefficient use of biomass for cooking purposes. Besides the known impact of forest degradation on climate change, it also causes severe erosion with potentially dramatic consequences on people's safety and food production. Forest degradation may force communities to be displaced from their lands, and affect their right to food security and nutrition, and their right to access water. At the same time, emissions from inefficient cooking systems not only adversely affect the climate but also the health of the users, mostly women performing cooking tasks and children in their vicinity.