The Cambodian Ministry of Environment has announced its new National Cooling Action Plan for Cambodia, the first to be developed in South-East Asia. ESCAP, in partnership with UNEP under the framework of the Cool Coalition and with the support of Energy Foundation China, jointly developed a National Cooling Action Plan Methodology which was piloted in Cambodia to support the Ministry of Environment to identify climate-friendly and low-energy cooling pathways.
“Cooling in Cambodia is about more than just thermal comfort, but also protecting vulnerable populations, keeping food fresh, medicines viable and the workforce productive,” said Chea Chan Thou, Deputy Director General, General Directorate of Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Environment.
Cooling is emerging as a key area of focus under the climate agenda, including at this year’s COP27. National power systems are coming under increasing strain as demand for cooling rises. Growing, more affluent populations seek higher-quality lifestyles and rising global temperatures and more frequent and intense heatwaves make air conditioning a necessity.
In Cambodia, recent analysis found that cooling is responsible for approximately 45 per cent of the demand for electricity, yet the penetration rate for cooling equipment is estimated to be in the single digits. Developing a National Cooling Action Plan represents an important step in mitigating the energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions from the cooling sector, while supporting increased access to affordable cooling in the country.
The NCAP methodology aims to increase the capacity of countries to achieve energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets under nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on reducing the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The new plan was announced at the ESCAP/EFC COP27 side event, “Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Energy.” ESCAP and UNEP continue to collaborate, with the support of EFC, on expanding sustainable cooling in the Asia-Pacific region with ongoing NCAPs under development in Indonesia and Viet Nam, and an NCAP implementation pilot project on passive cooling in Cambodia.