The New Zealand government has announced NZ$591,000 in funding for the project, led by the The Tonga Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC).

The long-term low emissions development strategy (LT-LEDS) will articulate a long-term vision and direction for the future of Tonga in a low-carbon world, and in a changing climate. The process intends to build capability within Tonga’s leadership team for long-term thinking across different sectors of the economy. Climateworks Australia is providing primary responsibility for overall project management and technical guidance within the project.

The New Zealand government is supporting Pacific Island nations to adapt to the effects of climate change – the effects of which low-lying countries are particularly vulnerable to – and to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions. Tonga’s LT-LEDS will achieve this, as well as improving social, economic and environmental resilience while supporting capacity for low-emission, climate resilient planning.

Dani Robertson, International Project Manager, says: ‘Tonga has already demonstrated visionary thinking and successful planning to identify low-carbon development, adaptations, mitigation and climate resilience actions and policies that simultaneously deliver socio-economic benefits in line with national priorities. This LT-LEDS process will identify opportunities for greater integration between sectors – systems approach and circular economy – and to extend the timeframe out to mid-century.’

The strategy is set to launch at COP26 in Glasgow, November 2021.