Tonga’s Nationally Determined Contribution Review Report Launched at Tonga Climate Change Week

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) as an implementing partner of the Regional Pacific NDC Hub has successfully supported the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga to review its 2015 Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and provide recommendations for the enhanced 2020 NDC.

The Tonga Nationally Determined Contributions Review Report was officially launched on 25 September 2020 at the Tonga Climate Change Week by the Hon. Prime Minister of Tonga Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa after being endorsed by the Tongan Cabinet on 18 September 2020.

Hon. Prime Minister of Tonga, Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa delivers his remarks at the National Climate Change Week

“To build a resilient Tonga, we must work together (tākanga ‘etau fohe) to strengthen and enhance our capacities by pooling all efforts together, at the National, Sectoral, and Community level, to safeguard our people, our land and our ocean” said Tonga’s Prime Minister, Hon. Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa at the launch.

The Review Report first addresses the progress made towards existing goals and targets for both the mitigation and adaptation components of Tonga’s 2015 INDC along the parameters of identifying the extent to which targets have been achieved, the status of implementation and how the targets and measures are communicated, with a focus on data gaps and inconsistencies.

Hon. Prime Minister of Tonga, Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa launched the report during the National Climate Change Week

The key sectors for the review of Tonga’s NDC are energy, industrial processes and products use (IPPU), agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU), the waste sector and adaptation. Tonga’s 2015 INDC targets for the energy sector focuses on electricity generation with the aim to generate 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 70% by 2030 as well as to reduce line loses to 9% by 2020. The INDC also communicates ambitiously on adaptation indicating doubling the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030 compared to 2015 levels.

This review is followed by recommendations for developing Tonga’s Enhanced 2020 NDC with a focus on updating and adding relevant information, revising/expanding existing goals and targets, providing information on specific measures to achieve the articulated goals and finally, improving the clarity, transparency and understanding of the NDCs.

Consultations convened virtually with GGGI and the Tonga Department of Climate Change adhering to the travel and gathering restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Tonga Department of Climate Change

The completion of this work was through a consultative and participatory process which began in March 2020, and overcame a number of disruptions due to COVID-19 to deliver a much needed piece of work to guide the development of Tonga’s new 2020 NDC to be submitted later this year to the UNFCCC.

Following on from an inception mission conducted virtually in March 2020, the Department of Climate Change convened a meeting with the Tonga Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) Technical Group on 24 July 2020 to present the review report. This was further complemented by consultation workshops from 29 – 30 July 2020 and the feedback received was considered and integrated into a final review and recommendations report.

Tonga’s energy sector stakeholders were part of the consultation, providing valuable inputs on the proposed recommendations for the enhanced 2020 NDC.
Source: Tonga Department of Climate Change

This activity was delivered in Tonga by the Regional Pacific NDC Hub with technical support from GGGI, and positions Tonga to be on track for developing and submitting a more robust and enhanced NDC to the UNFCCC.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are national climate change mitigation plans which highlight countries climate actions through climate related targets, policies and projects. As signatories to the Paris Agreement, countries are required to prepare, communication and maintain successive NDCs in contribution to global climate action. It is critical that the 2020 NDC enhancement process deliver greater mitigation ambition despite the disruption of covid-19. Scientific evidence suggests that the window of opportunity to limit the global mean temperature well below 2°C, or 1.5°C, is closing rapidly (IPCC 2018). Hence, countries must enhance the mitigation ambition of their NDCs by 2020.

The Regional Pacific NDC Hub is implemented through a partnership between GIZ, GGGI, SPC and SPREP, with financial support from the Germany, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand Governments.