Environment Minister Say Samal yesterday urged people to use energy more efficiently and enjoy benefits such as lower costs and a greener environment.
Mr Samal, who is also chairman of the National Council for Sustainable Development, told participants at a conference on improving energy efficiency in Cambodia that more information on climate change should also be disseminated.
He noted that promoting energy efficiency is one of the main drivers of sustainable economic development.
Mr Samal said that while Cambodia is developing strongly and people are enjoying a higher living standards, energy requirements remain high.
“So, while we are encouraged to invest more in the energy sector and respond to climate change through renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power, we also have to consider appropriate solutions to boost energy efficiency to drive more economic growth and lower carbon emissions,” he said.
Mr Samal suggested educating all energy users, including individuals, households, enterprises, communities and society as a whole, to focus on promoting energy efficiency that will enable them to reduce costs and maximise the benefits of sustainable development.
“Enhancing energy efficiency does not mean reducing the growth rate, slowing economic growth or reducing the quality of life of the population,” he noted. “On the contrary, it is essential to ensure sustainable development, resulting in a win-win situation. A win for consumers, businesses, for the environment, in the fight against climate change and for energy security.”
He added that efforts to boost energy efficiency can result in reduced costs for households, businesses and utility companies, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased economic productivity.
Swedish Ambassador Maria Sargren said yesterday that energy efficiency is very important in order to meet Cambodia’s goal of achieving sustainable growth.
“The Swedish government during the past 30 years has made tremendous improvements in renewable energy and improving energy efficiency while achieving economic growth,” she said.
UNDP country director Nick Beresford said it has worked with the Industry Ministry and Mines and Energy Ministry since 2012, under the Sustainable Energy for All scheme to support the government’s energy efficiency priorities.
The one-day conference titled “A Crucial Step towards Sustainable Growth” was organized by NCSD in cooperation with the Swedish government and Cambodia Climate Change Alliance.
A total of 152 participants discussed best practices and tools for promoting energy efficiency.