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Asia Low Carbon Building Transition Project: Propelling Cambodia's Shift to Sustainable Buildings

The Asia Low Carbon Buildings Transition (ALCBT) project was officially launched here on May 8, aiming to achieve a nationwide transition towards low carbon buildings, contributing significantly to the lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission reduction in building sector in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh. Photo CG
Phnom Penh. Photo CG

According to a news release of the German Embassy in Phnom Penh, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia's economy experienced a transformation with an annual growth rate of 7 percent, which led to a boom in the building and construction industry. In 2019, buildings encompassing the residential, commercial, and public sectors accounted for an astounding 43 percent of the nation's total energy consumption. The electricity demand for all sectors is forecasted to increase 6 times at 66 TWh by 2040 without energy efficiency compared to baseline in 2020. In the National Energy Efficiency Policy 2022-2030 (NEEP), the government has set national targets of energy saving by 19 percent of total consumption, and 34 percent and 25 percent in residential and commercial buildings, respectively, by 2030.

H.E. Say Samal, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction acknowledged :

"While Cambodia is relatively new to green building concepts, we recognise the opportunity for eco-friendly and energy-saving in building and construction sector, which could boost growth in the sector and contribute to Cambodia’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050 under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Therefore, this project will be an instrumental in developing the Low Carbon Tool to support this vision."

This five-year project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI), aims to facilitate a nationwide transition to Low Carbon Buildings (LCBs) in Cambodia and four other Asian countries (India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam). Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is leading implementation of ALCBT project along with other consortium partners i.e. ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), and HEAT International. In Cambodia, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction is the government counterpart of the project.

"Cambodia's booming building sector, driven by stable economic growth, contributes significantly to electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions," stated H.E. Stefan Messerer, German Ambassador to Cambodia, adding :

"This IKI-funded project is a crucial step in helping Cambodia unlock the full potential of green buildings."

Under the project, GGGI and other local partners aim to institutionalise low-carbon performance metrics, enhance industry stakeholder capacity, link building performance to financing options, and share best practices to promote project replication and scaling.

Ms. Helena McLeod, Deputy Director-General of GGGI, said, "GGGI has been supporting Cambodia in its green growth journey. So far, we have supported the government for sustainable energy practices in the garment sector, electric mobility, waste management, as well as carbon financing. As for green building, the sector also offers a win-win situation for Cambodia. ALCBT project will help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by and create healthier and more comfortable living and working environments for Cambodians."

The Asia Low Carbon Buildings Transition (ALCBT) project was officially launched here on May 8, aiming to achieve a nationwide transition towards low carbon buildings
The Asia Low Carbon Buildings Transition (ALCBT) project was officially launched here on May 8, aiming to achieve a nationwide transition towards low carbon buildings

The project aims to contribute to 1.68 million tCO2eq direct and indirect GHG emission reduction (combined for all project countries) while mobilising €140 (USD XY) million (or US$150 million) worth of investment. In Cambodia, the project will support two policy recommendation outputs (building code enhancement and targets o carbon emissions reduction) to be adopted by the government and eight private and public sector entities to incorporate ALCBT project tools and training programmes.

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