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Phnom Penh, Cambodia - 09 Mar 2023

News Number: PI/05/2023

On-stage participants in the Launch Event of Cambodia's National Cooling Action Plan

Photo credit: UNDP Cambodia

  • Cooling services account for 45 per cent of electricity use nationally.
  • Heat stress in Cambodia leads to an annual GDP loss of at least US$1.12 billion.
  • Sustainable cooling is key to protect vulnerable populations, keep food fresh, medicines viable, and workforces productive.

The government of Cambodia is launching today its first national strategic plan on cooling – one of the largest contributors to global warming – to lead the country to a greener, cleaner and low-carbon future.

Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan was developed with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), under the framework of the Cool Coalition – a global effort led by UNEP to drive action on sustainable cooling.

The plan seeks to reduce cooling demand, strengthen the access to cooling services such as cold chains for food and medicine, improve the energy efficiency of appliances, and encourage the use of low-Global Warming Potential refrigerants.

Sustainable approaches to cooling are critical to tackle climate change. Such approaches reduce food loss, enhance access to healthcare and medicines, enable productive work and protect against heat stress, especially important in a country where heat stress leads to an annual GDP loss of at least US$1.12 billion.

“If we are serious about reversing current climate trends, we cannot go about cooling our planet with a business-as-usual approach,” said Dechen Tsering, UNEP Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “As Cambodia’s demand for cooling grows, it has an important opportunity to adopt a new pathway on cooling, showing the possibility and potential of a system-wide approach to cooling that is equitable, efficient, and climate-friendly.”

With a hot and humid climate, demand for space cooling in Cambodia is set to double in the next 20 years. It already accounts for 45 per cent of electricity use nationally. Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan is, therefore, an important way to reduce the climate and economic impacts of increased demand for cooling.

“Cambodia is demonstrating her willingness to be a leader in delivering sustainable cooling with the development of a National Cooling Action Plan to help realize her Nationally Determined Contribution and Long-term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality of building a sustainable, green, clean and low-carbon economy,” said H.E. Say Samal, Minister of Environment, the Royal Government of Cambodia. “I invite Cambodian ministries and relevant stakeholders to join forces to implement this plan as laying the ground for climate-friendly cooling in Cambodia requires strong collaboration.” he added.

Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan provides recommendations to guide policymakers and partners to focus and collaborate on strategic actions to deliver sustainable cooling. It focuses on five areas: Building Space Cooling, Food Cold Chain, Health-care Cold Chain, Mobile Air Conditioning, and Process Cooling.

 “It is critical that the country mitigates rising cooling-related energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions while protecting the resilience of its energy systems, said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the ESCAP and Under-Secretary-General to the United Nations,

The plan is the outcome of national consultations with experts, and technical support from the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy and Sustainable Energy for All. The Danish International Development Agency and the Energy Foundation China provided financial support.

Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan was officially launched by the Cambodian Environment Deputy Minister and the Department of Climate Change, the General Directorate of Environmental Protection (EPA) of the Ministry of Environment, and the National Council for Sustainable Development.

In the run-up to COP 28,  which will take place from 30 November to 12 December in the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, it is crucial to drive global action on sustainable cooling in order to meet the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming well below 2°C.


Notes to Editors

About the Ministry of Environment Cambodia

The Ministry of Environment (MoE) is the key agency responsible for environmental protection and natural resources conservation. The MoE hosts the Department of Climate Change (DCC) of the General Directorate of Policy and Strategy and the General Directorate of Environmental Protection (EPA) of the Ministry of Environment.

About the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the most inclusive intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region. The Commission promotes cooperation among its 53 member States and 9 associate members in pursuit of solutions to sustainable development challenges. ESCAP is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations

About the UN Environment Programme

The UN Environment Programme is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.


For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Kavita Sukanandan, Public Information Officer, ESCAP ([email protected]

David Cole, Regional Information Officer, UNEP ROAP ([email protected])

Sophie Loran, Communications Officer, UNEP ([email protected])

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