Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia expected to seek funding at climate summit

Cambodia expected to seek funding at climate summit

Cambodia expected to seek funding at climate summit

091209_05
Children walk on temporary platforms between their houses set up due to excessive flooding in Kandal province last month.

FOREIGN Minister Hor Namhong will lead Cambodia’s delegation to the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, where analysts say they expect him to press for so-called adaptation funds to help Cambodia meet its climate-related challenges.

The Cambodian delegation, which also includes Environment Minister Mok Mareth, is expected to arrive in Denmark in time for a meeting of heads of state next week, said Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

While the discussion leading up to the summit has largely centred on emissions reductions, analysts say developing countries such as Cambodia are more likely to focus on a different figure: the amount of money industrialised countries are willing to commit to help poorer nations adapt to the expected effects of climate change.

“It’s the story for all developing countries,” said Brian Lund, the East Asia regional director for Oxfam. “These countries may not be the main contributors to global emissions, but they are certainly on the receiving end when it comes to consequences.”

The government’s draft position on climate change, in particular, suggests that adaptation funds are likely to be the delegation’s key demand during the summit.

Developed countries “should increase their financial support for adaptation activities in vulnerable countries”, the draft position reads.

“Assistance for implementing climate change adaptation measures in least developed countries should be unconditional … and should not lead to increase in debt.”

Tin Ponlok, project coordinator at the Environment Ministry’s climate change office, said, “The importance for us is that, yes, we hope
industrialised countries will commit more to cut emissions, but at the same time we hope they will also commit more to provide more tangible funding support for adaptation activities in developing countries.”

With a majority of the country still reliant on agriculture for both income and food, Cambodia is particularly dependent on international funds.

A report from the WorldFish Centre this year grouped Cambodia among the 30 most vulnerable economies in the world, largely due to the country’s dependence on fisheries as a source of protein and its limited ability to adapt.

Oxfam has said developing countries will need US$50 billion every year in adaptation funds. A World Bank report released this year suggests the annual figure should top $100 billion.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,