Remarks by Ms. Alissar Chaker, UNDP Resident Representative, representing United Nations in Cambodia, UNEP and UNESCAP
National Launch Event of Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan and Inception Meeting for the Passive Cooling Strategies for Sustainable Development in Cambodia Project
March 9, 2023
Excellencies, distinguished guests, UN Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to represent today the UN System in Cambodia for the launch of Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan. I would like to thank the Ministry of Environment, UNESCAP and UNEP for organizing this milestone event.
As the task of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions becomes ever more urgent, new initiatives are required to drive climate action. I am happy to note that increasing concerns related to climate change and environmental impacts have led Cambodia on a path towards clean energy development and energy efficiency. In its 2020 updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the nation committed to combatting climate change with a 41.7 percent decrease in domestic emissions from the business-as-usual scenario, by 2030.
Achieving this target will require concerted, multi-sectoral efforts. We also recognize that a large gap remains between the ambition of climate change mitigation targets and the current pace of actions. To fill this gap, policies, regulations, and frameworks are essential to synergize actions, shape markets, and drive investment interest.
Today’s launch of Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan, or NCAP [pronounced EN-Cap], is a significant stride forward, providing a comprehensive framework for one of the nation’s fastest-growing energy demand sectors –cooling– which is also responsible for an expanding share of greenhouse emissions.
Access to cooling is vital for human health, prosperity, and productivity. With a tropical climate, climbing temperatures, and a growing population with rising spending power, Cambodia must place sustainable cooling at the center of its development and climate agendas. It is critical that the nation looks to control energy demand through increasing the efficiency of mechanical space cooling and refrigeration, while also integrating passive design strategies for buildings and urban landscapes.
The recently finalized Energy Efficiency Policy and NCAP are helping build an enabling environment for the promotion and uptake of energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling technologies and approaches. Hopefully, they will also increase momentum for the continued development of the regulatory space, including in areas such as minimum energy performance standards and building energy codes. The Building Energy Efficiency Design Guidelines developed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy with technical support by UNDP is a significant input that will be included in the Building Technical regulations that will issued soon by the Ministry of Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.
The NCAP offers a comprehensive set of recommendations, and I am pleased to see that today also marks the beginning of the implementation of one of its key recommendations.
The United Nations has a long history of working toward sustainable development in Cambodia. Under the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2024 – 2028, currently being formulated, the UN will continue to support the nation in realizing its energy and climate goals. The Passive Cooling Strategies for Sustainable Development in Cambodia project, being implemented with the support of UNESCAP and UNEP, promises to deliver on both fronts with new insights on smart approaches to lowering energy demand and emissions.
The UN in Cambodia looks forward to continuing its engagement with the Government, the private sector, and other stakeholders in putting this National Cooling Action Plan into action through this project and many more initiatives to follow.