On November 11th 2021, the Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) on behalf of the Government of Tonga, submitted Tonga’s Low Emission Development Strategy 2021 – 2050 (LT-LEDS) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. This follows the approval of the LT-LEDS by the Cabinet on the 5th of November 2021.

In accordance with Article 4, paragraph 19, countries are invited to formulate and communicate a ‘long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy’ and to do so by 2020 but countries must determine what suits them best in terms of both content and process. LT-LEDS, although not mandatory, provide the long-term horizon for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which are 5-year cycle pledges to achieve the ambitious long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. As a party to the Paris Agreement, Tonga is committed to coordinating processes for its LT-LEDS and future NDCs, with the aim of creating alignment between long- and short-term actions.

Tonga’s Low Emission Development Strategy 2021 – 2050 (Tonga LEDS) presents a vision for 2050 of ‘A low emissions Tonga, where all sectors work together to create resilience, autonomy & self-reliance.’ Tonga’s LEDS was developed through a series of facilitated strategic dialogues with key Tongan stakeholders from government line ministries, public enterprises, non-government organizations (NGOs), youth groups, faith-based organizations and companies from the private sector.

Despite Tonga’s negligible greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Tonga still willingly plays its part in reducing its domestic GHG emissions, supporting the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement through Tonga’s LEDS and also through Tonga’s Second NDC, which was submitted to the UNFCCC in December 2020. Tonga’s submission of its LEDS during the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC or COP26, reaffirms Tonga’s commitment to accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC.

Prior to the submission to the UNFCCC Secretariat, Tonga’s LEDS was recently showcased during the Global Green Growth Week 2021 (25th – 27th October) by Ms. Akesiu Fifita from the Department of Climate Change, who presented during the Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development in the Pacific session. At the virtual event, Ms. Fifita shared Tonga’s experiences and lessons learnt in developing its LEDS.

The development of Tonga’s LEDS was funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) with technical assistance and support from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), ClimateWorks Australia and Relative Creative.

Tonga’s Low Emission Development Strategy is now available to the public on the UNFCCC website.