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Exploit tech in climate fight: Sem

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Energy minister Suy Sem addresses the latest UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy. ENERGY MINISTRY

Exploit tech in climate fight: Sem

Cambodia is committed to leverage emerging technologies to maximise its renewable energy potential, ensure affordable and reliable power, and reduce carbon emissions.

Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem made the remark at the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy held on September 24 under the theme “Accelerating action to achieve universal energy access and net zero emissions”.

Power supply through the national grid reaches more than 97 per cent of villages and over 81 per cent of households, he said, adding that the government will strive to further develop the energy sector and increase access to modern, affordable, reliable and ubiquitous electricity services.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions density is crucial for Cambodia to achieve goals tied to socio-economic issues and transitional energy efforts towards carbon reduction, he said, adding that the Kingdom will work towards maximising clean energy output, with a view to mitigating climate change risks.

“To meet this target, we are integrating more renewable energy projects into our development plans, developing large-scale battery energy storage systems [BESS] to supply more projects with power, and approving policies and action plans to increase energy efficiency,” Sem said.

However, he admitted that Cambodia must unavoidably depend on fossil fuels to some extent in the near-term, a reality he noted would be reflected in the new power development plan (PDP). But he stressed that the Kingdom must use fossil fuels in a cleaner way.

“We are faced with an imperative need to introduce clean fossil fuel technologies, such as clean coal technologies [CCT], carbon capture utilisation and storage [CCUS], hydrogen-based tech and battery storage solutions, and provide financing opportunities for investments oriented towards the advancement of these technologies.

“These are very important for Cambodia in its transition towards carbon neutrality,” the minister said.

He hailed the dialogue as a channel for the meaningful consideration of the global roadmap towards the sustainable development goals (SDG), especially Goal 7 – “Affordable and Clean Energy”.

He called on participants to work towards equitable access to affordable renewable energy solutions by 2030 and phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The litany of energy, climate and environmental challenges confronting humanity, further exacerbated by climate change, only underline the need to embrace the energy revolution quickly, fairly and equitably, and shift from the production and consumption of energy that generates carbon emissions, towards clean renewable alternatives, he stressed.

These options are targeted to help ensure affordable and reliable energy for all, the minister said.

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