On 02 August, 2019, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in partnership with ClimateWorks Australia conducted a scoping mission in Nuku’alofa,Tonga to develop Tonga’s Long Term – Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT – LEDS). Tonga became a member of GGGI in October 2018, and this initiative is one of GGGI’s first technical assistance projects for the small island developing state (SIDS). The development of the LEDS is led by GGGI’s Tongan government counterpart, the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) through the Climate Change Department.
The purpose of this scoping mission was to conduct consultations with our counterparts as well as stakeholders from the key sectors of electricity, land and maritime transport, aviation, forestry, agriculture, mangroves and seagrasses, waste management and refrigerants. The consultations took place from 30th July to August 2nd and covered the benefits of developing a LT – LEDS for Tonga, the different approaches that could be taken and the proposed timeline. The consultations included getting feedback on the value of the LT-LEDS for Tonga, the existing and planned relevant projects, the data available and the necessary tools, resources and mechanisms required for implementing these projects. GGGI will work closely with MEIDECC to ensure that all stakeholders’ opinions are taken into consideration including private sector, NGOs, CSOs and the vulnerable groups in Tonga’s community.
The acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Energy, Mr. Tevita Tukunga; who chaired the closing consultation meeting which brought together stakeholders from all sectors and government, and NGOs; highlighted that there couldn’t be a better time to develop such a strategy for Tonga as now. Although Tonga has a Joint National Action Plan (JNAP 2) from 2018 till 2028, it is also critical that Tonga also look into low carbon mid – century pathways for the future. “The targets and milestones for such an important pathway needs to be achievable and realistic for Tonga’s context, complimenting the existing low carbon frameworks and policies developed so far” he said.
The stakeholders of the various key sectors consulted were; Department of Energy, Tonga Power Limited, Department of Environment, Department of Land Transport, Department of Maritime Transport, Department of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ministry of Labor, Commerce and Industries, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources, Ministry of Public Enterprise, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of Fisheries, Tonga Waste Authority, , the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tonga National Youth Congress, the Civil Society Forum of Tonga and the Tonga Community Development Trust to name a few.
The LT – LEDS for Tonga is earmarked to be launched at COP26.