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FM calls for climate action

Hor Namhong makes UN address, urging developed countries to redouble efforts.

CAMBODIA has called on developed nations to shoulder greater responsibility in fighting climate change.

Addressing the UN general assembly this Saturday at UN headquarters in New York, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Cambodia is disproportionately susceptible to the effects of climate change.

“[Cambodia] is very vulnerable to weather-related disasters,” Hor Namhong said in his address, a copy of which was given to the Post by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The negative impact from climate change on farming in Southeast Asia would seriously jeopardise the production of rice and other agricultural products, and consequently would have ripple effects on food security.”

It is wealthy, developed nations, he said, that must redouble their efforts.

“I believe that the industrialised countries, which produce 80 percent of the greenhouse gases, should share greater responsibility and take more drastic and urgent measures to reduce the emission of these deadly gases,” Hor Namhong said, insisting the Kingdom has done its part to fight climate change.

Research suggests climate change could have especially drastic effects on the Southeast Asia region, including Cambodia, where the economy is largely dependent on agriculture and natural resources.

“Effects of global warming are expected to be particularly devastating in coastal areas and floodplains,” the government’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action states.

“As the sea rise[s], flooding and coastal erosion will worsen and severely impact ... fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture.”

Hor Namhong’s comments echo a World Bank report released earlier this month, which warned that Cambodia and other developing nations would be disproportionately affected by climate change, despite producing only a small percentage of the world’s carbon emissions.

Efforts to stave off climate change, the report said, must “start with high-income countries taking aggressive action to reduce their own emissions”.

Particularly challenging for Cambodia is the fact that industries like the garment sector that have been fuelling the country’s economic growth also generate high emissions, according to the World Bank.

Hor Namhong also used his address to urge a successful conclusion to the long-running Doha Development Round trade negotiations, which have stalled largely over disagreements between developed nations and less-wealthy developing countries.



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