The world has seen the deleterious effects of global warming, increasing efforts to reduce emission of the culprit gases. From power generation to motoring, green alternatives are becoming the goal. Even public facilities are increasingly taking up renewable energy options, with investors now seeing the greening of public facilities as an attractive investment opportunity. One such is Rwanda’s new airport, which is on track to receive a green certificate.
“The single largest infrastructure investment in Rwanda’s history, Bugesera International Airport, will be a net zero emissions complex through energy and water efficiency and solar power, making it one of the greenest airports on the continent once completed,” Minister for Environment Dr Vincent Biruta told local newspaper New Times at the ongoing Africa Green Growth Forum (AGGF) in Kigali.
According to Biruta, the airport, which is the largest publicly funded project in Rwanda, will gulp $414 million in its first phase expected to be completed by 2020. However, the government, while investing a lot into the project, is not the sole sponsor. It is funded through a public private partnership.
Biruta stressed that the facility “is a huge investment but a sustainable one”.
“It will generate revenues but at the same time save the environment. Our aim is to make it a green certified airport. We are proud that this important investment in Rwanda’s development is being guided by the principles of green growth.”
Frank Rijsberman, the Director General of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) said Bugesera will be among the first green-certified airports in Africa. The Institute and the Rwandan Ministry of Environment are believed to be working together to secure a green certification for the new airport whose passenger terminal will cover 30,000 square metres.
Rwanda is one of the countries in Africa that take climate change seriously, with commendable commitment to the Paris Agreement. The country has now launched the Nationally Determined Contribution Partnership Plan, a blue print towards fast tracking climate change adaptation efforts. The Plan launched during the AGGF going on in Kigali. Stressing the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, Deputy Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority Faustin Munyazikwiye told CNBC that Rwanda was so committed that even the rest of the world refuses to do the right thing as regards climate change, the East African country would.