Transitioning the energy sector to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the objectives of the Paris Agreement presents a complex and difficult task for policymakers. It needs to ensure sustained economic growth as well as respond to increasing energy demand, reduce emissions and, more importantly, consider and capitalize on the interlinkages between Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) and other SDGs. In this connection, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has developed the National Expert SDG Tool for Energy Planning (NEXSTEP). This tool enables policymakers to make informed policy decisions to support the achievement of the SDG 7 targets as well as emission reduction targets (NDCs). The initiative has been undertaken in response to the Ministerial Declaration of the Second Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (April 2018, Bangkok) and Commission Resolution 74/9, which endorsed its outcomes. NEXSTEP also garnered the support of the Committee on Energy in its Second Session, with recommendations to expand the number of countries being supported by this tool.
The Kingdom of Tonga has been one of the first countries in the Pacific to develop their SDG7 roadmap. The key objective of this SDG 7 roadmap is to assist the Government of Tonga develop enabling policy measures to achieve the targets of SDG 7. This roadmap contains a matrix of technological options and enabling policy measures for the Government to consider. It presents several scenarios that have been developed using national data, considering existing energy policies and strategies, and reflecting on other development plans. These scenarios are expected to enable the Government to make an informed decision to develop and implement a set of policies to achieve SDG 7 by 2030, together with NDC. The policy recommendations of the SDG7 roadmap will also contribute to the development of Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM) Plus 2021-2035.
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