Cambodia reiterated its commitment to developing policies and stimulating clean technology use to ensure energy security, and deliver a more affordable and sustainable energy future by reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.
The vow was made by Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem in a speech via video link to the First Asia CCUS Network Forum on carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology on June 22.
The June 22-23 forum aims to raise awareness among government officials, the private sector, businesspeople, academics and experts about the opportunities to transform energy generation and management into clean-power systems through technological innovation.
The minister noted that while Cambodia emits minimal levels of carbon dioxide, it is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
He stressed that the forum was a prime opportunity for Cambodia to share knowledge and experience concerning CCUS technologies, noting that the Kingdom is particularly interested in their application in the realm of fossil-fuelled energy generation.
“Cambodia perceives that our energy sources will continue to depend on fossil fuels in the future, so there is an urgent need to ensure that fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – are used in a cleaner way, by implementing technology that captures, uses and stores an affordable carbon dioxide supply,” Sem said.
By 2020, fossil fuels – coal and oil – were to account for 60 per cent of Cambodia’s energy mix, while renewable sources – hydropower, solar and biomass – were to represent the remaining 40 per cent, he said.
The Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (Eria) noted that oil, coal and natural gas comprise nearly 80 per cent of the primary energy mix for the East Asia Summit (EAS) region, which encompasses ASEAN, as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the US.
“Given the high share of fossil fuels in the current energy mix of ASEAN and EAS … the clean use of fossil fuels through the deployment of clean technologies is indispensable for decarburising emissions in ASEAN and the EAS region.
“The future energy transition of ASEAN and the EAS region will rely on today’s actions, policies and investments to change the fossil fuel-based energy system towards a cleaner energy system. But any decisions and energy policy measures to be rolled out during the energy transition need to be weighed against potentially higher energy costs, affordability issues and energy security risks.
“The continued use of fossil fuel to steer economic growth in ASEAN and the EAS region will require appropriate technologies to use fossil fuels in responsible and environmentally friendly ways through clean technologies such as CCUS, to decarbonise the region’s emission in the foreseeable future,” it said.
According to the minister, Cambodia has made “significant” strides in lifting the renewable share of primary energy sources and overall electricity mix.
He underlined the importance of carbon reduction in Asia, as a part of a building a sustainable road to combating climate change.
“In my view, as long as we continue to employ fossil fuels, using them through clean technologies – such as clean-coal and CCUS – will become a necessity to combat climate change on a large-scale.
“This way, we may be able to keep the global warming limit of two degrees Celsius for the entire century,” he said.