Key Messages from Ms. Alissar Chaker, Resident Representative of UNDP Cambodia
Launch of Clean Energy Week 2023
November 15, 2023
Excellencies, Ladies, and gentlemen, Chum Reap Suo!
It is my great pleasure to join His Excellency Ambassador Justin Whyatt of Australia, Mr. Matthew Allen, First Secretary of New Zealand Embassy, esteemed representatives of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and Mr. Natharoun Ngo Son, Country Director of EnergyLab, in the Launching of the Clean Energy Week 2023.
Since its inception in 2018, Clean Energy Week has been an annual event bringing together various stakeholders, including Cambodian youth, to engage in a dialogue on what Clean Energy means for Cambodia. How to use the Energy Sector as a driver for economic growth and competitiveness, particularly in view of Cambodia’s upcoming graduation as Least Developed Countries (LDC) and the change in conditions and relevant exclusive access to certain international support measures as LDC in the areas of development assistance and trade.
Economic policy is treading a thin line between lowering energy price, designed to maintain competitiveness in the short term but burdening the long-term adjustments required, and a high price that would reduce cost competitiveness and therefore industrial development and employment in the short term. It is now the time to provide the right incentives required for the switch towards a clean energy efficient economy.
As a Founding Sponsor of the Clean Energy Week, UNDP is delighted to join hands with all partners for the promotion of clean energy to accelerate the achievement of Cambodia’s development ambitions, optimizing the dividends of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and the Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality (LTS4CN) for reducing domestic emissions and adapting to climate change.
Excellencies, Ladies, and gentlemen:
Embracing Clean Energy is not an act of goodwill; it is more of an economic opportunity for Cambodia. Fluctuations in the price of imported fossil fuel are jeopardizing Cambodia’s energy security and trade balance. Exporting industries are calling for an increasing share of renewable energy in the energy mix to access new markets and meet foreign markets' sustainability conditions. The clean energy transition is thus an opportunity for Cambodia to increase its energy security, expand its industrial base, create competitive trade dividends and employment, and enhance its socioeconomic resilience and inclusion.
UNDP is working to promote and deliver just energy transition in the Kingdom through partnerships with the Royal Government of Cambodia, Development Partners, NGOs/CSOs, the private sector, and academia. We are committed to advancing this agenda through an integrated approach focused on policy and regulatory reform, joint implementation for the deployment of innovative solutions and technology for clean energy and energy efficiency, capacity development, advocacy and awareness raising, and innovative financing and business models.
Some recent examples of the practical implementation of the integrated approach include:
- On policy and regulation: We supported the regulation/ ‘Prakas’ on the use of Rooftop Solar Power in Cambodia.
- On implementation: we delivered solar-powered mini-grid systems to electrify 21 remote and isolated off-grid villages and solar-powered pumping stations and small-scale solar water pumps for encouraging multi-cropping and irrigating more than 1000 ha of rice fields with development partners, namely, the Governments of Japan and the Republic of Korea, and the private sector.
- On capacity development: In addition to institutional strengthening, which is an integral part of our approach, we partnered with the Institute of Technology of Cambodia to develop and deliver the first Certified Energy Manager and Auditor Training Programme, for building needed human capital to develop the sector.
- On innovative financing and business models, I would like to mention the Energy Efficiency Financing Facility rolled out with the Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia, CGCC) to de-risk energy efficiency related private venture. The Cambodia SDG Investor Map published in 2022 highlighted business prospects that can have significant influence on sustainable development, which also noted the energy sector. Blended public-private finance and climate finance would need to be leveraged as the power demand is expected to increase two-and-a half folds.
- On Partnership and advocacy, we support events such as the Clean Energy Week, and the Cambodia Energy Efficiency Competition.
Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen:
UNDP walks the talk. UNDP has been climate-neutral in its global operations since 2015 by procuring carbon credits. But offsetting is not enough; this is why UNDP committed to the Greening Moonshot of halving its corporate carbon footprint by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050.
In Cambodia, our office building is a certified green building by the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification for Operations and Maintenance. It is one of the first buildings to receive this certification under the Existing Buildings category in the country. Energy-efficient measures and technology were installed, and the share of solar power is 25% of our total energy consumption. Electric vehicles constitute half of our fleet.
In conclusion, I would like to end with a call to all development partners, investors, NGOs/CSOs, and the private sector to join the journey and continue together supporting Cambodia in its just energy transition.
Thank you for your attention!
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