Crown Prince greets Pacific Energy and Transport Ministers in Tonga

Crown Prince ʻUlukālala Tupoutoʻa talked to the Pacific Energy and Transport Ministers in Tonga this afternoon Wednesday 26.

His Royal Highness reminded the Ministers and Pacific leaders they have an important role to play in the world’s endeavour to save the planet.

He described it as a “challenge” for them to think about during the two-day convention in Nukuʻalofa.

More than 100 leaders and experts met in the kingdom for the Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministerial Meeting.

The meeting had a theme: “Affordable, reliable and sustainable energy and transport services for all.”

The regional meeting comes after the national energy targets in renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as the adoption of greenhouse gas mitigation targets in the nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement was adopted.

“In all cases, energy sector is made up of various sub-sectors including coordination and planning, petroleum, power, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“The planning and coordination of energy sector to meet governments’ sustainable development aspirations and obligation becomes a tedious task when these sub-sectors are managed and planned in isolation and independently of each other – when some have very old legislations and when there is no overarching legislative framework to coordinate them”.

Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni said the meeting was “timely”.

He said they have to agree on what they could see fits for the Pacific to take up with the global forums in support of the Paris Agreement.

In his opening address, Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga highlighted SPC’s contribution to Pacific Island energy and transport sectors, including the adoption of uniform standards and tools for maritime safety and energy security.

He mentioned the support given to the private sector and governments to improve safety at sea and access to electricity and training of hundreds of professionals from governments, administrations and private sector each year.

“And more recently, providing technical assistance for members to reduce greenhouse gas from the energy and maritime transport sectors”.

The Pacific leaders will also celebrate SPCʻs 70th anniversary in Tonga with the inauguration of the Tonga-based Pacific Centre of Excellence on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE).

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