Climate Change and Disaster Survival Fund Act 2015 (No. 11 of 2016) ( 2016 )

This law establishes a Climate Change and Disaster Survival Fund to Provide immediate vital services to the people of Tuvalu in combating the devastating impact of climate change and natural disasters, and allows the Government and the people of Tuvalu to respond to future climate change impacts and natural disasters in a coordinated, effective and…read more

Environmental Protection Act (Revised edition, CAP. 30.25) ( 2008 )

The Act provides an overarching legislative framework for environmental protection and sustainable development. It specifically addresses pollution, Tuvalu’s obligations under international law, environmental impacts, biodiversity and natural resources, and waste management. It enables the appointment of a Director of Environment and Environment Officers and outlines the process by which the Minister, from time to time,…read more

National Disaster Management Act (Revised edition, CAP. 20.38) ( 2007 )

The National Disaster Management Act defines a disaster and specifies that the Minister responsible to the Cabinet for disaster-related matters shall ensure that adequate measures are taken by the government for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. It establishes a National Disaster Committee whose function is to advise the Minister on these issues and coordinate…read more

National Strategic Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management 2012-2016 ( 2012 / Adaptation Framework )

NSAP is the implementation plan for Te Kaniva and was also co-ordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour. As a five-year action plan, it is intended to be revised at the mid-point of the Te Kaniva period and adjusted accordingly. The NSAP identifies 141 specific actions to meet the seven…read more

Te Kaniva: Tuvalu National Climate Change Policy ( 2012 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

Te Kaniva (referring to the traditional travelling method of using stars and daily weather patterns to navigate) outlines the strategic policies for responding to climate change impacts and related disaster risks for the period 2012-2021. It was co-ordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, in collaboration with numerous other government…read more

National Energy Policy ( 2009 )

The Policy identifies three main energy policy considerations: – Adequate, secure and cost-effective supply; – Efficient utilisation to avoid wasteful or non-productive energy consumption; – Minimising the negative impacts of energy production, transportation, conversion, utilisation and consumption on the environment. The policy is divided into seven key areas: energy sector planning, co-ordination and management; petroleum;…read more

National Action Plan to Combat Land Degradation and Drought ( 2006 )

This plan was devised as a response to Tuvalu’s concern regarding degradation of its habitats and current predicted shortages of water connected with increasing population and the effects of climate change. The Plan specifies seven major causes of land degradation: – Lack of land use planning (specifically related to a road project on Funafuti); –…read more

Te Kakeega II and III – National Strategy for Sustainable Development ( 2005 )

Te Kakeega II (2005 – 2015) is Tuvalu’s National Sustainable Plan. It is the end result of a large national public discussion on the future development of Tuvalu that culminated in a National Summit on Sustainable Development, held in July 2004. In the strategy, environmental sustainability is recognised as critical to meeting the Millennium Development…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

100% reduction (ie almost zero emissions) in GHG emissions from the electricity generation by 2025; 60% reduction in GHG emissions from the entire energy sector by 2025 compared to 2010

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2025 | Base year: 2010

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies

30% energy efficiency gains on Funafuti

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target

100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: N/A | Source(s): National E... (2009 / Executive)

100% renewables in the electricity generation by 2020

Renewable Energy | Target year: 2020

Zero emissions from electricity generation by 2025

Energy: General | Target year: 2025

Source: NDC

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tuvalu, the fourth smallest nation in the world in terms of land area and highly reliant on foreign aid, is often presented as an emblematic example of vulnerability to climate change. As a group of low-lying small islands, important adaptation issues include sea level rise, drought, flooding, saltwater intrusion and coastal erosion. Subsequent identified concerns include agricultural productivity (e.g. saltwater intrusion decreasing fruit tree yields) and increasing damage to productive land and property from extreme weather events. As the country is so low-lying (all of Tuvalu’s nine islands are less than five metres above mean sea level and the average elevation is one metre), it faces particularly extreme risk from tropical cyclones and tsunamis, as well as other impacts of sea level rise such as inundation. For example, Funafati, where nearly half of the population of approximately 10,000 people live, is highly vulnerable to storm surges and inundation as it is on average less than 100m wide.

Tuvalu has already had to import freshwater and establish emergency desalination plants to provide water in the face of drought, and sea level rise has been measured at 5mm per year since 1993. Accordingly, it is very active at the international level in encouraging concrete action to mitigate climate change and has made several calls for the inclusion of high-emitting countries such as China into the UNFCCC process and the establishment of a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. It is also extremely vocal about the need for developed countries to support less developed countries to fund adaptation projects.

As well as specific actions to encourage mitigation and adaptation locally and internationally, the government is also concerned about climate change posing a threat to Tuvalu’s continued physical existence, and the possibility that the population will need to be relocated. As a result, one of the goals of its key climate change policy implementation document, the National Strategic Action Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management is to guarantee the security of the people of Tuvalu from the impacts of climate change and maintain national sovereignty. Specific actions include determining the point of forced migration/relocation, conducting a feasibility study on the costs of relocation, and developing a climate change migration/resettlement plan (in consultation with possible host nations, if appropriate) for each island in view of climate change impacts. Both Australia and New Zealand have examined the policy implications of accepting entire displaced populations, including that of Tuvalu, and in mid-2014 a family from Tuvalu was granted New Zealand residency on humanitarian grounds tied to the claim that they would be unduly affected by climate change if they were forced to return to their home country.

Tuvalu ratified the UNFCCC in 1993 and signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol (as a non-Annex I country) in November 1998. It provided its initial national communication under the UNFCCC in 1999 and is currently preparing its second national communication with the support of the UN Global Environment Facility. It is a member of the Alliance of Small Island States and participates in the operations of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, such as the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change project.

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment is the main government ministry responsible for climate change. Within the ministry, the Department of Environment oversees a Climate Change Unit. In January 2014 a National Advisory Council on Climate Change was launched by the Prime Minister to provide advice on how to effectively co-ordinate a whole of government response to the challenges of climate change, known as the National Climate Change Response Process. The main functions of the National Advisory Council on Climate Change are to identify actions or strategies to achieve energy efficiencies, to increase the use of renewable energy, to encourage the private sector and NGOs to reduce GHG emissions, to ensure a whole of government response to adaptation and climate change-related disaster risk reduction, and to encourage the private sector and NGOs to develop locally appropriate technologies for adaptation and climate change mitigation.

Two main documents, both published in 2012, drive climate change policy in Tuvalu – Te Kaniva: Tuvalu National Climate Change Policy, and the National Strategic Action Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (NSAP). Both were prepared by the Department of Environment. The NSAP recommended that the National Climate Change Advisory Committee and the National Disaster Committee should merge to co-ordinate and drive the plan’s implementation. The merged committee is known as the National Strategic Action Plan Co-ordinating Committee and is supported by a specific NSAP Management Team within the Department of Environment.

Energy supply

Tuvalu is largely reliant upon fossil fuels imported by BP to provide electricity and transport fuel, but it has committed to source 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, 95% using solar photovoltaics (PV) with the remaining 5% from biodiesel.

The country has eight power stations powered by diesel-based generators. The Tuvalu Electricity Corporation (TEC), which is 100% state-owned, has exclusive rights to supply electricity. Solar installations are increasing. An installation on the island of Niulakita accounting for 3% of annual household consumption was commissioned in 2009, while an installation on the roof of the Tuvalu Sports Ground supplies 5% of the electricity demand of Funafuti, the capital. This installation was funded predominantly by the Kansai Electric Power Company from Japan, and which aimed to provide a small-scale model of solar power that could be scaled up to meet the entire country’s electricity needs. The government has recently entered into agreements with the United Arab Emirates, the European Union and New Zealand to provide financing to support the transition to solar power. Feasibility studies for wind energy have also been carried out, for example by the Danish-funded Pacific Islands Energy Policy and Strategic Action Planning project.

Energy demand

Growth in the land transport and electricity sectors is estimated at approximately 3-4% over the next 10 years. With the support of the New Zealand government, a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Unit (REEEU) within TEC was established in 2012. The REEEU aims to help Tuvalu reduce its dependence on imported diesel, reduce carbon emissions, improve the efficiency of power generation and supply, increase the operational effectiveness of the TEC, and develop a plan for infrastructure development to increase solar and wind power. Tuvalu also participates in the Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project. Recent project components include a study of electricity tariff reform and training TEC staff on the technical operation and maintenance of a grid-connected solar PV system.

Transportation

Tuvalu’s nine atolls are distributed across nearly 1m km2 of territorial waters yet no internal air service exists, and only two flights per week operate from Funafati to Suva in neighbouring Fiji. There is a small road network of less than 20 km and in 2007 there were 250 vehicles registered in Tuvalu. All fuel for motor vehicles, air and ferry services is imported and the key areas of focus for transport policy are ensuring fuel conservation and efficiency in energy use, as well as promoting public awareness about good transport management practices such as vehicle tuning.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Tuvalu participates in REDD+ readiness initiatives, such as those co-ordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the German International Co-operation (GIZ), and is an active participant in UNFCCC negotiations on LULUCF rules. No REDD+ projects have yet been formally established in Tuvalu; however, previously under REDD, Tuvalu proposed a Forest Retention Scheme to provide incentives to communities for protecting and retaining forests. There were three components to this proposed scheme: a Community Forest Retention Trust Account; Forest Retention Certificates and an International Forest Retention Fund to provide funding for communities to set aside forest areas or to manage them in a sustainable manner. Communities could draw on a prescribed percentage of their own trust account, to establish measures to combat and reduce deforestation and degradation.

Adaptation

Tuvalu actively participates in both adaptation at the nation-state level and encouraging international co-ordination on adaptation activities. Locally, the 2012 National Strategic Action Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (NSAP) identifies 141 specific actions to bolster adaptation and better prepare for disaster. Projects include increasing water storage capacity on four of Tuvalu’s islands with the help of the United Nation Development Programme’s Least Developed Countries Fund and AusAID, as well as work carried out by the Tuvalu Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, a network of grassroots NGOs, on initiatives such as environmental awareness campaigns and tree-planting projects. A national water policy is also being developed.

Internationally, in 2008 Tuvalu presented an International Blueprint on Adaptation to the UNFCCC Bali COP which argues for predictable and adequate international funding instruments to support adaptation in less developed countries. Tuvalu has spoken publicly about the challenges of receiving development funding for adaptation projects, such as from the UN Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund.

To date, Tuvalu does not have any litigation listed.

Tuvalu is a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, represented by a Governor General, and the Prime Minister as head of government. The current constitution was enacted in 1986 and amends a previous constitution adopted in 1978 upon independence. As there are no political parties, Tuvalu is a de facto non-partisan democracy.

The unicameral parliament follows the Westminster system of representative democracy, and has 15 members, each elected for a four-year term. The Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament are elected by these 15 members by secret ballot. Two members of parliament are elected by each of the seven larger islands (Funafuti, Nanumanga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Vaitupu) and one member of parliament is elected by Nukulaelae.  The smallest island of Niulakita is represented by the members elected for Niutao. Up to half of the members of parliament, including the Prime Minister may be appointed to cabinet. The most recent general election was held in March 2015, with the next due to be held in 2019.

The legal system combines acts voted into law by the Parliament (and associated statutory instruments), acts passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom during the period in which Tuvalu was a British protectorate (1892-1916) or a British colony (1916-1978), common law and customary law.  The latter is related particularly to land ownership.

Proposed laws are called bills and may be introduced in parliament by any member. After the session at which the bill was introduced, at the next session of parliament the bill has its first reading, after which the Clerk of Parliament circulates the bill to all local governments (known as Kaupule, the island council or executive branch of the Falekaupule, the traditional assembly of elders present on each island of Tuvalu), for consideration and comment. Exclusions to this procedure include appropriation bills or bills certified by the Prime Minister upon the advice of the cabinet to either be urgent or not of general public importance. Bills are passed through a majority vote where, excluding no confidence motions and constitutional amendments, the speaker has a casting vote. Upon presentation to the Head of State, bills are required to be promptly assented to, and subsequently become Acts of Parliament. Policies, action plans and strategies are written by the relevant government departments (often in conjunction with international organisations to provide capacity support) and then become guiding documents for government policy once signed off by the relevant minister.

Last modified 21 August, 2017