The Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on April 29 on the implementation of a project to prepare the Kingdom’s transition to clean energy and a roadmap to carbon neutrality.

The Japanese government agreed to formally provide technical cooperation for the implementation of the project at the ministry’s request.

“JICA dispatched a team to discuss the project with the [ministry] from April 26-29 and sign an agreement to advance the implementation of this project,” the ministry said in a Facebook post on April 30.

It added that the energy transition work was divided into two parts – the clean energy transition and increased energy efficiency regardless of the energy source.

The ministry is cooperating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the energy efficiency work and the ministry had asked for help from JICA with the transition to clean energy.

Heng Kunleang, the ministry spokesman and director-general for energy, could not be reached for comment on May 1.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida have discussed the importance of achieving the goals of economic growth and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The two leaders said they recognised that it would remain essential to utilise fuels and technologies according to the circumstances of each country while ensuring a secure and stable supply of energy.

Kishida said that under the Asia Energy Transition Initiative (AETI), Japan would support a realistic energy transition in Cambodia through means that would include the formulation of a roadmap towards carbon neutrality in collaboration with JICA and technical knowledge shared through the Asia CCUS network.

In late 2021, Cambodia submitted its long-term strategy for carbon neutrality (LTS4CN) to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The strategy aims to provide a realistic roadmap for Cambodia to achieve carbon neutrality without hurting development that is based on a comprehensive analysis of scenarios regarding key economic sectors, including priority mitigation actions. The roadmap set the goal of achieving carbon neutral development by 2050.

Previously, the Ministry of Environment said Cambodia could achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by continuing its efforts to implement greenhouse gas emissions reduction programme and halting the further loss and degradation of forests and by making forest reforms that encourage sustainable forest development.

The ministry added that in order for Cambodia to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, it would need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and transport sectors and improve energy efficiency as well as promote low-carbon agriculture, industrial processes and waste management.