Cambodia sets example for climate action in the cooling sector

Cambodia sets example for climate action in the cooling sector

Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan was developed with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), under the framework the Cool Coalition – a global effort led by UNEP to drive action on sustainable cooling.

The plan seeks to reduce cooling demand, strengthen the access to cooling services such as cold chains for food and medicine, improve the energy efficiency of appliances, and encourage the use of low-Global Warming Potential refrigerants.

Sustainable approaches to cooling are critical to tackle climate change. Such approaches reduce food loss, enhance access to healthcare and medicines, enable productive work and protect against heat stress, especially important in a country where heat stress leads to an annual GDP loss of at least US$1.12 billion.

With a hot and humid climate, demand for space cooling in Cambodia is set to double in the next 20 years. It already accounts for 45 per cent of electricity use nationally. Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan is, therefore, an important way to reduce the climate and economic impacts of increased demand for cooling.

Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan provides recommendations to guide policymakers and partners to focus and collaborate on strategic actions to deliver sustainable cooling. It focuses on five areas: Building Space Cooling, Food Cold Chain, Health-care Cold Chain, Mobile Air Conditioning, and Process Cooling.

“It is critical that the country mitigates rising cooling-related energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions while protecting the resilience of its energy systems, said Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the UN-ESCAP and Under-Secretary General to the United Nations.

The plan is the outcome of national consultations with experts, and technical support from the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy and Sustainable Energy for All. The Danish International Development Agency and the Energy Foundation China provided financial support.

Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan was officially launched by the Cambodian Environment Deputy Minister and the Department of Climate Change, the General Directorate of Environmental Protection (EPA) of the Ministry of Environment, and the National Council for Sustainable Development.