The United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) held workshops in Cambodia and Uruguay bringing together multiple stakeholders to discuss policies, practices and actions to expand the use of renewable energies and waste to energy solutions.
The workshop in Cambodia focused on policy gaps in renewable energy technologies with a view to achieving the country's target of 90% electrification by 2030.
In Uruguay, two workshops discussed policies, practices and actions relating to the circular economy, focusing on actionable approaches for waste-to energy solutions and waste prevention for short-term implementation.
16 August 2018: The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized country-level workshops to support the implementation of SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy) and linkages with SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) in Cambodia, focusing on identifying policy gaps in renewable energy technologies, and Uruguay, addressing circular economies and waste-to-energy solutions.
In Cambodia, a joint workshop on 16 August, co-hosted by UNIDO, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft of Cambodia (MIH), brought together stakeholders to identify policy gaps in renewable energy technologies. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and held as a part of a project titled, ‘Climate change related technology transfer for Cambodia: Using agricultural residue biomass for sustainable energy solutions,’ the workshop included 50 participants from government, technical line ministries, development partners, financial institutions, private sector companies, and renewable energy project developers. Participants discussed current barriers to renewable energy expansion in Cambodia and developed recommendations to promote its development.
Currently, 71.5% of households in Cambodia are electrified and the country aims to increase this figure to 90% by 2030. Solar and biomass technologies are key in obtaining this goal, however lack of time-bound targets in Cambodia’s renewable energy technology does not attract investors. Sovanrith Phork, Secretary of State at MIH, noted that Cambodia’s “National Renewable Energy Policy will encourage companies, enterprises, producers as well as the government to consider the potential of adoption of renewable energy in the industry as a means to gain lower energy costs to attract more investors.” Participants noted that current energy policies in Cambodia do not provide a clear signal for investors and renewable energy projects are not yet allowed to connect to the national grid with the exception of a pilot solar project.
In Uruguay, UNIDO held workshops on 20 August and 23 August in conjunction with Latin American and Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW). The workshops titled, ‘Enabling circular economy solutions to boost climate action’ and ‘Enabling waste-to-energy, industrial waste reuse and prevention solutions to achieve circular economy and boost climate action,’ were organized with the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre Network (CTCN). The two workshops focused on bringing together members from civil society, UN agencies, and financial institutions, and participants discussed high-impact case studies harnessing mitigation potential and co-benefits of circular economy related policies, practices and actions as well as innovative approaches to waste-to-energy and waste reuse and prevention that are actionable in the short term. The main takeaway from the circular economies workshop was how crucial the design stage is. The second workshop found infrastructure and cooperation as key for waste-to-energy solutions such as policy, partnerships and the need of financial, technical and capacity building resources. [UNIDO Press Release. 16 August. Cambodia] [UNIDO Press Release 15 August. Uruguay]