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Madrid, SPAIN – December 10, 2019: 9.50am (PEJN): Tonga’s prime minister Dr Pohiva Tu’ionetoa pointed to the Kingdom’s number two ranking in a 2016 World Risk Report listing countries most at risk to all disasters as testimony that the Kingdom faces real climate change threats.

“In Tonga, we continue to experience record rates of coastal erosion, overflow and flash flooding,” PM Dr Tu’ionetoa said.

“These are further compounded by the rising in sea-level, three times higher, than the global average, and tropical cyclones that are increasing in intensity, and at a rate that undermines our capacity to respond to, and recover from. Tropical Cyclone Gita which hit Tonga, in February 2018, is a strong testament to this increase.”

Tonga is committed to the drastic national action required to ensure it achieves cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, known as Nationally determined contributions, (NDCs).

For Tonga that means achieving its NDC targets of 50% renewable energy by 2020, 70% by 2030 and 100% by 2035 and doubling the number of its Marine Protected Areas by 2030.

Dr Tu’ionetoa said Tonga will continue to work with partners and donor governments on implementing projects that would help achieve its targets.

The Marine Protected Areas project is being spearheaded by the Department of Environment, under the Ministry of MEIDECC in Nuku’alofa, and the Ministry of Fisheries.

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