Cook Islands

The Cook Islands comprises 5 small islands spread over an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.97 million square kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean. It is made up of two main groups; the Northern Group consisting 6 low lying coral atolls and the Southern Group of 9 islands. The Cook Islands contributes an insignificant 0.00014% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this, the Island faces the brunt of climate change impacts.To deal with this unprecedented challenge, Cook Islands has carved a pathway of low carbon development to strengthen climate resilience and further reduce its carbon footprint to achieve its national vision ‘to enjoy the highest quality of life consistent with the aspirations of our people, and in harmony with our culture and environment'.


NDC Target

Cook Islands submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions on 20 November 2015 to the UNFCCC Secretariat.

Conditional (81.00%)

On receiving external support, Cook Islands could “reduce emissions from electricity generation by a further 43%, totalling an 81% emissions reduction by 2030 (relative to 2006).

Unconditional (38.00%)

In the absence of receiving any external support, Cook Islands committed to a future powered by renewable energy with targets of 50% of islands transformed from diesel based to renewably sourced electricity by 2015 to 100% coverage by 2020 . Furthermore, using 2006 as the base year, emission from electricity generation can be reduced by 38% by 2020.

No further revisions were undertaken, and the same document was endorsed and submitted as the First Nationally Determined Contribution on 01 September 2016.

The achievement of the emission reduction target of 81% by 2030 will be through both unconditional and conditional means based on available and additional external financing being provided to the Cook Islands.

Target Sector


  • Electricity is the target sector for mitigation in the Cook Islands.


  • Coastal protection
  • Water security
  • Forestry
  • Marine conservation
  • Waste
  • Tourism
  • Land management
Target Year
Activity Implementation Year

Current Activity

The NDC Hub is supporting the Cook Islands through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to strengthen its Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) across the energy and agriculture sectors.


Strengthen MRV across all relevant sectors in the Cook Islands



To establish a robust MRV system and provide capacity building.



Wayne King

After 5 years, the Cook Islands is receiving support via the UN system to prepare a new enhanced NDC in line with the global effort to reduce global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. While many of the developed countries involved are side-stepping their obligations, through using the COVID-19 pandemic to slow action, or the slowness of international obligations to reach agreement as a factor, many other countries are raising their ambition to ensure that those countries not engaging robustly understand that the climate crises is real and will continue unabated with or without a global pandemic devastating most economies.

- Mr. Wayne King, Director of Climate Change, Cook Islands

Cook Islands's NDC Journey

The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for the Cook Islands was submitted in 2015.

The Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution for the Cook Islands is to be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat at the end of 2020.

Contact details in-country team

Mr. Wayne King

NDC Hub Focal Point

Director of Climate Change, Cook Islands

E: [email protected]

The Regional Pacific NDC Hub is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of United Kingdom, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand.