Tonga hands over its Second Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement

The Department of Climate Change formally submitted Tonga’s Second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) NDC registry.

The submission of Tonga’s Second NDC is well in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement for Parties to communicate their updated or new NDCs by 2020.

Nationally Determined Contribution or NDC are actions that Parties to the Paris Agreement plan to undertake to address climate change.

A statement said a party’s contributions to address climate change is ‘nationally determined’ according to its national circumstances and priorities.

The overall effect of Parties’ NDCs will be considered in 2023 at the first global stocktake (GST) of implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The stocktake will assess collective progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement’s purpose and long-term goals, addressing adaptation, finance and mitigation in light of equity and best available science.

Tonga submitted an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in December 2015 and Tonga later ratified the Paris Agreement on 21 September 2016.

Tonga’s INDC automatically became Tonga’s First NDC when the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Tonga’s Second NDC was prepared, building on the findings and recommendations of the Tonga NDC Review Report that was launched on the 25 September 2020 by the Prime Minister of Tonga, during the National Climate Change Awareness Week.

The Second NDC was drafted then circulated to all NDC stakeholders for initial feedback.

A final national validation workshop was then held with the Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (JNAP) Technical Team and relevant national stakeholders to finalize the Second NDC before submission to the Cabinet.

The Cabinet endorsed Tonga’s Second NDC on 27 November 2020 and it was later launched by the Prime Minister of Tonga, Rev, Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa on the 4 December 2020 in Vava’u, during the commissioning of the new Lose ‘o Pema Road at Longomapu.

In its Second NDC, Tonga’s targets for mitigation are as follows:

  • 13% (16 Gg) reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 2006 through a transition to 70% renewable electricity as well as energy efficiency measures.
  • Establishment of a forest inventory as prerequisite to identify a greenhouse gas emission target for the 2025 NDC and planting one million trees by 2023.
  • Expansion of the formal waste collection system as prerequisite to identify a Greenhouse gas emission target for the 2025 NDC.

In the context of adaptation, the Tonga has set three targets:

  • 30% of land in Tonga utilized for agro-forestry or forestry by 2025,
  • Prevent any permanent loss of land to rising sea levels
  • Maintenance of the existing stocks of fish and other marine species through a commitment to expand the area covered by Marine Protected Areas and Special Management Areas to 30% of the Kingdom of Tonga’s Economic Exclusive Zone.

The development of Tonga’s Second NDC was funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and was led by the Department of Climate Change with technical assistance provided by GGGI.

Notable contributions were also made by the members of the JNAP Technical Team and a broad group of national stakeholders who attended the national NDC workshops and consultations.

Kind contributions were also made by ClimateWorks Australia (CWA) and Relative Creative (Australia).

The next step with Tonga’s Second NDC is the development of its Implementation Roadmap and Investment Plan, in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Regional Pacific NDC Hub.


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