Clean energy week 2023 opens with call for clean energy transition action

November 16, 2023

Today Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representatives launched Cambodia Clean Energy Week 2023 with a call for coordinated action on the clean energy transition from all stakeholders. 

The opening ceremony was presided by H.E. Peou Maly, Secretary of State, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, H.E. KAN Pharidh, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and H.E. Roath EK, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Public Works and Transport. 

The event featured remarks from Australian Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Justin Whyatt; Mr. Matthew Allen First Secretary (Development) to New Zealand Ambassador to Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand; and UNDP Resident Representative Alissar Chaker, EnergyLab Cambodia Country Director Mr Natharoun Ngo Son

It was attended by senior government officials from Cambodia and leading clean energy and development practitioners. This year’s event theme is “Energy Security and Cambodia’s Clean Energy Future.” 

Australian Ambassador Whyatt said, “Cambodia’s clean energy transition is an opportunity to respond to climate change and support inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Australia is committed to supporting this transition, including by sharing our experience in variable renewable energy grid integration to help Cambodia achieve outcomes.”

“Through our flagship economic development program, Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAPRED), Australia is working with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Electricity Authority of Cambodia, Electricity du Cambodge and other stakeholders on integrating variable renewable energy. CAPRED is also helping connect remote Cambodians to off-grid solar and supporting energy efficiency through an ESCO market,” he added.

The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Alissar Chaker, said, “Embracing Clean Energy is not an ideological position; it is more of an economic opportunity for Cambodia to increase energy security, create trade dividends and employment, access to finance, and increase its resilience and inclusion.”

“UNDP Cambodia is working to promote and support just energy transition in the Kingdom through partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia, Development Partners, NGOs/CSOs, academia and private entities. We are committed to advancing this agenda through an integrated approach focused on policy, joint implementation for the deployment of innovative solutions and clean technology, capacity development and innovative finance. For example, during the past three years, UNDP supported key regulations such as the rooftop solar and energy efficiency guidelines in buildings. We electrified 21 off-grid villages with solar-powered mini-grids, giving access to remote and marginalized communities as well as isolated indigenous villages. We have also promoted the use of solar water pumps to support yearly multi-crop production and reduce vulnerability to droughts. 1000 hectares of rice and vegetable fields were irrigated with solar-powered water pumps delivered to smallholder farmers groups in vulnerable communities” she added

New Zealand First Secretary to Cambodia, Mr Matthew Allen commented “New Zealand welcomes the opportunity to support Cambodia on its journey to a clean energy future. Events like Clean Energy Week provide an opportunity to seed positive change and share innovative solutions to addressing on of the most pressing issues facing the world today. It is through the leadership and stewardship of people like those here in the room today that we will collectively work towards a vision of greener and more sustainable future.”

EnergyLab Cambodia Country Director Mr Natharoun Ngo Son said, “We hope Clean Energy Week 2023 will amplify one of H.E Keo Rattanak's goal to bank more on variable renewable energy (VRE) and Solar to increase Cambodia's energy security".

The ceremony included a panel discussion on emerging priorities for Cambodia’s clean energy transition, with speakers from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, World Bank, Australia’s CAPRED program, and Empacte. 

Clean Energy Week is organised by EnergyLab Cambodia, in partnership with co-founders Australia and the United Nations Development Programme, and with co-funders Australia’s CAPRED program, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and SWITCH to Solar Project, funded by European Union through the SWITCH–Asia Programme and the Czech Development Agency. 

Held from 16 to 23 November in Phnom Penh, the event incorporates dialogues, workshops, exhibitions, and awareness-raising events to showcase the innovations, successes, and inclusive benefits of clean energy while fostering collaboration between private and public sector stakeholders and awareness among the public.

About EnergyLab Cambodia

EnergyLab Cambodia is a Cambodian non-profit whose goal is to significantly increase the amount of clean energy in Cambodia, while delivering Cambodia on its 2030 development trajectory to upper-middle income status.

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