1. Introduction

Tonga is demonstrating strong ambition, communicating a long-term, low-carbon strategy that not only considers mitigation but also resilience and adaptation, as well the country’s broader development objectives.

The low lying island nation of Tonga is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. By developing a holistic long-term strategy, Tonga can help drive Pacific regional and global momentum towards decarbonisation as the world seeks to reduce the increasing negative impacts of climate change.

What we’re doing

In partnership with Global Green Growth Institute and Relative Creative, Climateworks is supporting the Tonga Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC) to develop a long-term low emissions development strategy and Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

The Paris Agreement

As part of the Paris Agreement, all parties are expected to formulate and communicate mid-century long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LT-LEDS). This project will demonstrate that development of LT-LEDS can be done in contexts with constrained resources, like Tonga, by taking a participatory and qualitative approach. All parties to the Paris Agreement have agreed to either communicate their current NDCs or submit new or updated NDCs by 2020, and every five years. 

A long-term, integrated approach

By developing its Enhanced NDC and LT-LEDS alongside one another, Tonga has already demonstrated visionary thinking and planning that will support alignment between the long-term vision and pathways, and the planning and investments in the nearer term. The process of developing the LT-LEDS is designed to strengthen and extend existing communications and governance processes, in order to build the capability within Tonga’s leadership for long-term thinking across different sectors. 

Grounded in the culture and values of Tongans

Importantly, imagining a desired future for Tonga and the pathways to get there will be grounded in the culture and values of Tongans. The project is guided by key themes of sustainable environment, a resilient economy, reduced reliance on imported energy, participatory and inclusive governance, empowered communities and quality education. Tongan values of traditional culture and knowledge, family, community and religion are also woven through the project design and participatory workshops. Given the remote nature of the project, all participatory workshops are facilitated locally.

3. How we'll get there


Map visions together with selected stakeholders

Using blue-sky thinking to explore key principles, avenues, sectors and macro trends throughout Tonga’s past, present and future.


Map pathways together towards shared visions

Creatively explore and interrogate long-term pathways with stakeholders, supported by robust technical analysis


Confirm vision, pathways and develop first steps

Converge on and articulate a shared vision, outline pragmatic next steps, publish and submit to the UNFCCC