Rwanda is the first LDC to submit its updated NDCs in 2020.


Rwanda is the first LDC to submit its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) in 2020.

Rwanda is the first LDC country to submit its enhanced NDC proposal for 2020, with ambitious updates for both mitigation and adaptation. In terms of mitigation, the country is thus committed to 16% emissions reduction in 2030, and a further conditional reduction of 22% based on the provision of international support and financing. The country also presents 24 adaptation interventions with cross-sectoral and sector-specific performance indicators and targets.

2020 was meant to be a pivotal year in the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement with the submission of enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for all countries, parties to this agreement. As of 20 May 2020, only 7 out of the 188 Parties to the Paris Agreement have filed their updated NDCs. Countries were relying on the momentum and dynamic of COP-26 to move forward.


According to paragraph 25 of decision 1/CP.21 (which accompanied the Paris Agreement), Parties are required to submit their NDCs “at least nine to twelve months” before the relevant session of the COP (in this case COP-26).


Due to the global health crisis linked to Covid-19, COP 26, which was initially scheduled to take place from 9 to 20 November 2020 in Glasgow, has now been postponed for 2021, probably in November. This change in timing could be an interesting opportunity for deeper reflection and new awakening around climate change issues.

Rwanda is leading the LDCs in terms of Climate Action

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. Among these countries, 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 emphasized 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. The submission further outlines sector-specific implementation aspects including implementing agencies timelines; estimated funding requirements; respective adaptation or mitigation co-benefits; and linkages with the SDGs.

Targets for Adaptation and resilience


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 mobilization. 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.


Implementation of prioritized 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.


Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme support for NDCs Submission


In order to assist ACP countries in the submission of their updated and revised NDCs, the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, through its Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme has developed an online NDC tool to support ACP countries in this process. This Tool provides a practical way to prepare and submit NDCs in line with UNFCCC requirements. It provides multiple advantages to both technical officers involved in the preparation of new/updated NDCs and decision-makers.


The ACP NDC Tool is available to all countries of the OACPS and ready to use to facilitate NDC submissions in line with UNFCCC guidelines.


For access to the Tool and further support, please contact:


1BAU – Business as Usual
Refers to a scenario where countries’ future emissions broadly follow the trajectory of their emissions up to the present day.