In March IUCN Oceania signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tonga Development Bank to begin a project that seeks to build capacity for energy loans in the Kingdom.
The overall aim of the project is to reduce impacts of fossil fuel imports on the Kingdom of Tonga's economy by encouraging private sector investment in renewable energy.
The general concept of the project is similar to IUCN’s Energy Efficiency Subsidy Programme being implemented by the National Development Bank of Palau. The programme has successfully enabled private sector collaboration in Palau and is achieving substantial wins in terms of reducing new household electricity consumption.
In Tonga, the project will provide training to personnel of the Tonga Development Bank to manage the loan programme efficiently and the same for local retailers and contractors to support local supply of materials and installation as well as maintenance.
The project will focus on the island of Tongatapu where the capital Nuku'alofa is located and is home to nearly 13, 000 households.
Financial support for the project is provided by UNEP Climate Finance Innovation Facility.
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