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Cambodia hopes for global climate pact

A young boy walks though flood waters with his mother in Kandal province last year
A young boy walks though flood waters with his mother in Kandal province last year. Hong Menea

Cambodia hopes for global climate pact

Cambodia is particularly at risk from man-made climate change due to its dependence on agriculture and its geography, Minister of Environment Say Sam Al said yesterday.

The minister, speaking at a workshop marking 20 years of meetings on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the lackluster intergovernmental negotiations had so-far failed to yield results.

“The negotiations on climate change, which have lasted more than 20 years, have not produced good results . . . The whole world should be concerned about this,” he said.

Negotiations ended in Lima, Peru, last year and will restart in Paris in November, with a mandate to create a binding and universal climate agreement.

As a member of the UN Convention on Climate Change and a developing country, Cambodia wishes to see an agreement reached, Sam Al said.

“The longer we procrastinate the worse and more serious the consequences,” he added.

Sam Al put the blame for climate change squarely at the feet of the “market” and “consumerism”.

Ty Sokun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said that as a result of climate change, numerous problems would afflict agricultural production in the Kingdom.

Severe flooding in 2013, which he attributed to climate change, was just one example of the phenomenon’s impact, he said, adding that a new government working group had been established to tackle the issue.

Sokun said he hoped an agreement will be reached in Paris later this year that will see more funding awarded to countries like Cambodia that are especially vulnerable to climate change.

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