Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuesday August 24th, 2021.
Her Excellency Tiffany Babington (New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga), Chief Executive Officer, Paula Ma`u for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC), and GGGI´s Country Representative for Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji and Kiribati, Daniel Muñoz-Smith, launched today their collaboration for the project titled “Development of the Tonga Energy Road Map Plus (TERMPLUS) and TERMPLUS Investment Plan”.
Through this project, the Tonga government with the assistance of GGGI, will finalize and roll out its 15-year Energy Road Map and Investment Plan (TERMPLUS), a strategic policy guiding the development of Tonga’s energy sector, reducing the country’s high dependence on fossil fuels, covering the period from 2021 to 2035. This entails a significant step forward into the TERMPLUS implementation, which will be undertaken by Tonga to achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets of 70% and 100% renewable electricity in 2030 and 2035, respectively, through an actionable energy strategy and investment plan.
The main challenge the country faces is reducing the share of oil products in key sectors (such as transportation), entails considerable issues that need to be addressed. The main solutions center on more electricity to be generated from renewable sources, while oil consumption by the transport sector needs to be significantly reduced, either by using alternative fuels (e.g. biodiesel, ethanol, electricity), and-or by mode switch (e.g. from private vehicle to public bus, bicycle, walking), in tandem with increasing fuel efficiency (e.g. euro IV, V).
To this end, the TERMPLUS will guide public and private energy sector investment into low emissions climate resilient development, by compressively including strategic issues such as supply, consumption, generation and distribution. Moreover, it will be adopted as an actionable and robust energy policy tool that also addresses key transversal matters for boosting cleaner energy and sustainable transport sectors in Tonga, filling the categories of climate change adaptation and resilience, as well as increasing gender/social inclusion, and improving data collection/dissemination.
The launch of this project is part of the New Zealand funded “Low Emissions Climate Resilient” program (LECRD), a regional endeavor that started its implementation in April 2021 with GGGI, focusing on the regional partnerships in order to support resilience and emissions reduction by working with Pacific Islands Countries to transition to inclusive, low emissions and climate resilient development.
Concerning this initiative, H.E. Tiffany Babington (New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga) pointed out that: “I am honored to be the keynote speaker to open the workshop that officially launches the LECRD program in Tonga, for the TERMPLUS to be completed end of October ‘21, including the TERMPLUS´ Investment Plan (with a concept note), following with the TERMPLUS document developing into 2022”.
The LECRD was launched as part of a two-day stakeholder workshop (24th and 25th of August 2021), where key actors and development partners of the energy sector conveyed to jointly to discuss key issues related mainly the progress of the TERMPLUS, as well as the related energy bill and the investment plans. Other strategic matters in the agenda are electric utility implementation and donor´s initiatives.
Finally, the TERMPLUS project complements and strengthens GGGI´s strategic engagement in Tonga from past and ongoing initiatives that are actively supporting related climate action, those currently being undertaken mainly in two fronts: first, the Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS); and, second, the enhancement of Tonga’s capability in NGHGI database management, data collection and performance of QA/QC. “The LECRD allows to support the energy transition in Tonga and boosts the partnerships GGGI has in country to support the countries´ climate action efforts”, said Daniel Muñoz-Smith, Country Representative for Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji and Kiribati of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
Program Manager LECRDP