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Kingdom seeks climate cash

CAMBODIAN officials will demand that developed countries contribute 1.5 percent of their GDPs annually towards funding for climate change adaptation at a global summit in Mexico later this month.

At a meeting yesterday, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Cancun, which kicks off November 29, Cambodian officials released a draft statement that noted the Kingdom’s vulnerability to global warming and called for an increased commitment from wealthy nations to address this problem.

“Cambodia reiterates that the implementation of (National Adaptation Programmes of Action) remains a real challenge due to very slow processes that do not respond to the urgent and immediate nature of the NAPAs,” the draft statement reads.

“Cambodia would like to call on the developed country parties to direct their contributions to the [Least Developed Countries Fund] in order to meet the adaptation demand.”

Theuk Kroeun Vutha, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment, said 22 Cambodian officials would make the trip to Mexico, leaving on Sunday. Environmental officials will by joined by colleagues from the ministries of Agriculture, Economy and Finance and Women’s Affairs, among others.

“Cambodia is one of the countries that is most impacted by climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions,” Theuk Kroeun Vutha said. “We and other Least Developed Countries need to unite to demand that developed countries offer money to help LDCs build capacity and reduce the impacts of climate change.”

The World Bank said last year that up to US$75 billion may be necessary for climate change mitigation efforts in developing countries.

Cambodia’s draft statement calls for the conference to reach an agreement under which developed countries contribute at least 1.5 percent of GDP to a climate adaptation fund, 70 percent of which would be put toward adaptation in Least Developed Countries such as Cambodia.

The statement also calls for support for the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programme, an arrangement under which countries “offset” carbon emissions by paying other countries to conserve their forests. Areas in Mondulkiri, Preah Vihear and Koh Kong provinces have been proposed as possible REDD sites in the Kingdom.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE

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