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Asia Low Carbon Building Transition Project Launches: A New Era for Sustainable Buildings in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, May 9, 2024 – Cambodia is embarking on a transformative journey towards sustainability with the launch of the Asia Low Carbon Buildings Transition (ALCBT) project, aiming to revolutionize the building sector's impact on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The project, unveiled on May 8, is designed to facilitate a significant shift towards low-carbon buildings across the nation. This initiative is particularly timely, as before the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia's economy was booming with an annual growth rate of 7 percent, which fueled a surge in the building and construction industry. In 2019 alone, the sector accounted for 43 percent of the country’s total energy consumption, according to a news release from the German Embassy in Phnom Penh.

The burgeoning electricity demand, projected to increase sixfold to 66 TWh by 2040 without energy efficiency measures, underscores the critical need for sustainable practices. The National Energy Efficiency Policy 2022-2030 sets ambitious targets to reduce energy consumption by 19 percent, with specific goals for residential and commercial buildings by 2030.

Say Samal, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, expressed optimism about the project's potential. "Cambodia is relatively new to green building concepts, but we see significant opportunities for eco-friendly and energy-saving innovations in our construction sector. This could not only boost growth but also support our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 under the Paris Agreement," he noted.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action under the International Climate Initiative, the ALCBT project will span five years and include Cambodia among five Asian countries targeted for low-carbon building transitions. The project is implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) along with other consortium partners including the ASEAN Centre for Energy, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd., and HEAT International.

Stefan Messerer, the German Ambassador to Cambodia, highlighted the importance of the initiative. "Our support through this project is vital for Cambodia to fully leverage the benefits of green buildings, which contribute significantly to electricity consumption and greenhouse emissions in the country," he stated.

Helena McLeod, Deputy Director-General of GGGI, emphasized the broader benefits of the project. "The ALCBT project is not just about reducing emissions; it's about creating healthier, more comfortable living and working environments in Cambodia. Our ongoing support has spanned several sectors, and we're excited to see the transformative impact in green building," she said.

The project aims to deliver substantial environmental benefits, including an expected reduction of 1.68 million tCO2eq in direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions across all project countries. It also seeks to mobilize approximately $150 million worth of investments to support the initiative. In Cambodia, specific outcomes will include enhancements to building codes and carbon emission reduction targets, with a focus on incorporating these tools and training programs into both private and public sector entities.

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