Energy Ministers to talk business in Tonga

Hon Sovaleni

NUKU’ALOFA-April 12: 11:02am(Nuku’alofa Times): The upcoming  Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministerial Meeting will be a great opportunity for island ministers to discuss the latest international and regional developments in energy and transport sectors affecting the region.

The high-level meeting, which will be hosted at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre in Nuku’alofa, will cover energy and transport challenges and priorities included in the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific, the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific and the regional Framework for Action on Transport Services.

Tonga’s Energy Minister Hon Siaosi Sovaleni said “the meeting is timely. Individually as sovereign nations, we have obligations to these global and regional instruments, but more importantly, to our own respective nationally determined contributions and government’s energy and transport targets and aspirations”.

“The meeting will therefore look at adopting regional positions, which we can task our regional agencies and partners to assist us on and which we can go out to global forums and negotiations and promote with an united voice,” Hon Sovaleni, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) and Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

In a join press release today the Pacific Community Director-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga said “this meeting provides an important platform for energy and transport ministers to discuss and commit to regional positions and interventions that will complement national efforts towards achieving accessible, affordable, safe and clean energy and transport services for all in the Pacific region in the context of sustainable development”.

The theme of this year’s meeting is Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy and Transport Services for All, which supports the vision of Pacific energy and transport ministers of their sectors being key pillars to enable sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

The week-long meeting will feature a combined plenary for energy and transport officials ahead of the ministers meeting, with over 100 delegates.

High on the agenda for energy officials are discussions around needed reforms and regional commitments to facilitate the rapid transition of the region to a more cost competitive, reliable and low carbon economies.

Transport officials will have the opportunity to explore among other things, ways to improve the governance of the maritime sector; the energy efficiency and safety of shipping and ports; prevent marine pollution; facilitate access and contribution of women to the maritime sector; and improve coordination and contribution of Pacific Island countries to international negotiations.

The energy and transport ministers will consider the resolutions of the officials and will also discuss the concept of Green and Blue Economy as well as the challenges of access to multilateral environment funding to support addressing the region’s energy and transport challenges.

As part of the week’s events, SPC together with its members and partners will celebrate its 70thAnniversary in Tonga.

The inauguration of the Nuku’alofa-based Pacific Centre of Excellence on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) will also take place.

The Centre is part of a global network of regional centres and will work alongside Pacific Island countries and territories to accelerate their progress towards their respective national renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

Among the high-level speakers at the meeting will be the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, LI Yong, the CEO of the Sustainable Energy for ALL (SE4ALL) & Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for ALL, Rachel Kyte, and the Senior Deputy Director of the Technical Cooperation Division of the International Maritime Organization, Juvenal Shiundu.

The Third Pacific Regional Meeting for Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled for 24 to 28 April.

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