The European Union and the Government of Tonga are working together to meet the country’s Climate Change and Energy commitments. In line with the EU Agenda for Change and Tonga’s development vision, a direct contribution of Euro 6.5 Million (Pa’anga 15 million) to Tonga’s national budget will help the country to implement its Energy Roadmap with a particular focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“I see a tremendous opportunity for the EU and Tonga to work hand in hand to address climate change issues and, at the same time, promote sustainable development of the country.” said Development Commissioner Pielbags at the occasion of the signing ceremony in Auckland on 25/03/2013. “Indeed, renewable energy and energy efficiency will help widen the access to clean energy for the people while reducing the country dependency on fossil fuel. This is a win-win scenario and an exemplary initiative for entire Pacific region.”
The Energy Budget Support programme was signed in the margin of the March 25-26 Energy Summit in Auckland, jointly organised by the EU and New Zealand. Throughout the next three years, the EU will transfer €6.5M to support Tonga’s national development vision and to improve the financial capability of the government to achieve Tonga’s Energy Roadmap (TERM) policy objectives.
The support will contribute to the implementation of the sector policies notably aimed at promoting the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. The on-going preparation of a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEE) plan by Tonga will allow for a specific emphasize on those two critical areas.
The EU initiative was facilitated by the strong Government leadership of the development and reform agendas as well as the close collaboration established between major donors active in the country. Those elements were conducive for the European Union to support the Energy sector via a budget support programme thus ensuring better aid effectiveness, strong ownership of the initiative by the country and close alignment with its development policies. Budget support will also reduce the burden on government reporting and allow EU assistance to focus on concrete results and deliverable for the people. Expected results of the intervention includes an increased percentage of renewable energy in the energy production of the country and reduced losses on electricity grids within 2 years.