IED Consult contributes to Cambodia’s low-emissions energy strategy for COP26

This fall, IED Consult partnered with Artelys to support the development of Cambodia’s energy sector strategy as a part of the country’s National Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality.

Cambodia launched the preparation of the Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality (LTS4CN) ahead of its participation in the COP26 climate negotiations. Led by the country’s National Council on Sustainable Development at the request of His Excellency Prime Minister Hun Sen, the LTS4CN is a vision-setting exercise to imagine an ambitious, realistic pathway for Cambodia to both meet its development objectives and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

IED and Artelys developed the LTS4CN energy pathways in collaboration with other sectoral expert teams and national stakeholders, using a customised version of the Climate and Energy Policy Impact Assessment (CEPIA) tool fully adapted to the Cambodian national context with support from the Agence Française de Développement. The Draft Long-Term Strategy was finalized in November and is currently undergoing review by the various responsible line ministries.

Pix Cambodge

While energy accounts for less than 10% of Cambodia’s GHG emissions today, the future development of the sector is critical to Cambodia’s climate change mitigation strategy, given the massive growth expected in demand for energy services such as cooling, mobility, or productive uses over the coming decades.  In a no-change scenario, the energy sector is expected to become the largest emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050, accounting for over half of total emissions.  The challenge is therefore to limit emissions from the sector over the long-term, while still ensuring that all of the energy needs of the country’s population and rapidly developing economy are sufficiently and affordably met.

To achieve this, the energy sector pathways developed for the LTS4CN were based on three main pillars: (1) investing in energy efficiency and conservation; (2) transitioning fossil fuels used in transportation and industrial processes to less carbon-intensive sources, including electricity and sustainable biomass; and (3) reducing emissions from the power sector, in particular by increasing the penetration of renewable energies. To ensure that the energy sector vision is fully actionable and can be driven by decisions made at the national level, all of the actions considered in the strategy focused on the deployment of proven, widely available technologies, leaving space for potential additional emissions reductions if and when emerging technologies are included in the approach.

IED Consult and Artelys will continue to support energy and climate policy development in Cambodia over the coming months, through an ongoing technical assistance project with the General Department of Policy in Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) that uses the CEPIA modelling tool and long-term scenarios to contribute to multisectoral policy dialogue in the energy sector.  This project is financed by AFD’s 2050 Facility and is expected to complete in 2022.