Air pollution mitigation assessment to inform Cambodia's first clean air plan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cambodia's 16.5 million people are exposed to air pollution in excess of World Health Organisation guidelines. The Royal Government of Cambodia has regulated air pollutant emissions and concentrations since 2000, but rapid economic growth and energy consumption means air pollution continues to impact human health. In December 2021, the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia published Cambodia's first Clean Air Plan that outlines actions to reduce air pollutant emissions over the next decade. This work presents the quantitative air pollution mitigation assessment underpinning the identification and evaluation of measures included in Cambodia's Clean Air Plan. Historic emissions of particulate matter (PM2.5, black carbon, organic carbon) and gaseous (nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, and carbon monoxide) air pollutants are quantified between 2010 and 2015, and projected to 2030 for a baseline scenario. Mitigation scenarios reflecting implementation of 14 measures included in Cambodia's Clean Air Plan were modelled, to quantify the national reduction in emissions, from which the reduction in ambient PM2.5 exposure and attributable health burdens were estimated. In 2015, the residential, transport, and waste sectors contribute the largest fraction of national total air pollutant emissions. Without emission reduction measures, air pollutant emissions could increase by between 50 and 150% in 2030 compared to 2015 levels, predominantly due to increases in transport emissions. The implementation of the 14 mitigation measures could substantially reduce emissions of all air pollutants, by between 60 and 80% in 2030 compared to the baseline. This reduction in emissions was estimated to avoid approximately 900 (95% C.I.: 530–1200) premature deaths per year in 2030 compared to the baseline scenario. In addition to improving air pollution and public health, Cambodia's Clean Air Plan could also to lead to additional benefits, including a 19% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, simultaneously contributing to Cambodia's climate change goals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115230
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Research
Early online date10 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

©2023 The Authors.

Cite this