The Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele, has re-affirmed Government's commitment to pursuing renewable energy sources during his address to the 3rd Preparatory Commission meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, last Monday.
The Hon Prime Minister informed the meeting that, "The Tongan Government, in 2008, responded to the global challenge of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction and the vulnerability of its own energy security by approving a policy of 50% renewable energy electricity generation to be achieved by 2012."
IRENA is an international agency that is still in its formative stages, with strong technical and financial support from the United Arab Emirates. IRENA has shown a keen interest to work closely with Tonga on its Energy Roadmap which could be a model for other small islands developing states.
In his address the Hon Prime Minister also thanked the newly formed IRENA Secretariat for the direct technical assistance it provided towards the compilation of the Tonga Energy Roadmap 2010-2020, and informed participants that Tonga had ratified the IRENA Statutes in November 2009.
The Hon Prime Minister's delegation to the Meeting includes the Lord Tuita, Minister for Lands, Survey and Natural Resources, Va'inga Tone, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and ‘Akau'ola, Renewable Energy Coordinator. Other Pacific islands countries attending the meeting include Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Kiribati, Palau and Nauru.
Tonga's major Development Partners, including Australia, People's Republic of China, the European Commission, Japan, New Zealand, and the World Bank, have already made commitments to provide technical and financial assistance towards the implementation of Tonga's Energy Roadmap 2010-2020.
Issued by: The PMO Website Bureau, Prime Minister's Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.