The chloroplast is an essential photosynthetic apparatus that is more sensitive to low temperatures than other organelles. Sigma factors were revealed regulating specific gene expression for maintaining photosynthetic efficiency and adapting to physiological and environmental conditions. However, the regulatory mechanisms of SIG genes supporting chloroplast development under low temperature in rice have not yet been reported. Here, we uncovered the essential role of OsSIG2A in rice chloroplast development at low temperatures by a newly reported thermo-sensitive chlorophyll deficient 12 (tcd12) mutant, which exhibited albino leaves with decreased chlorophyll content and malformed chloroplasts at seedling stage under low temperature. OsSIG2A is a typical chloroplast-localised RNA polymerase sigma factor, and constitutively expresses in different rice tissues, especially for young leaves and stems. Moreover, the transcription level of both PEP- and NEP- dependent genes, which are necessary for chloroplast development at early leaf development stage, was greatly affected in the tcd12 mutant under low temperature. Taken together, our findings indicate that OsSIG2A is required for early chloroplast differentiation under low temperatures by regulating plastid genes expression.