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Kingdom meets climate deadline

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A parched rice field in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district on Sunday. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom meets climate deadline

The government has successfully submitted Cambodia’s updated National Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and earned praise as more than half of the world’s countries failed to do so by year’s end.

The Kingdom’s 158-page NDC was submitted before the deadline of December 31. It covers many aspects such as climate change impact and the country’s adaptation and mitigation efforts, among others.

In the NDC foreword, Minister of Environment and National Council for Sustainable Development chairman Say Samal said the document presented Cambodia’s commitments and needs for the next decade to realise the vision of a low carbon and resilient society.

He said this document was developed through extensive consultations over nine months, with contributions from all concerned stakeholders in the country, including relevant ministries and agencies, civil society representatives, development partners, academia and the private sector.

“Cambodia has always been a strong supporter of multilateral action on climate change. As a country particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, we understand the urgency of ambitious climate action and aim to lead by example, in line with our capacities and responsibilities under the UNFCCC,” the minister said.

He said the updated NDC was improved in several important ways, including climate change mitigation targets in the agricultural and waste sectors, and an ambitious target in the Forestry and Land Use sector for halving the deforestation rate by 2030.

The NDC, he said, paid particular attention to gender and vulnerable groups, to ensure that Cambodia’s adaptation and mitigation actions contribute to a more inclusive society.

Also, a significant effort was made to develop a solid framework for measurement, reporting and verification. This was to ensure that it was able to generate credible evidence on progress made and on challenges encountered.

As of January 1, only around 70 out of nearly 200 countries in the world had submitted their NDC. Almost all countries had signed up to the Paris Agreement in 2015 to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to AFP.

“Congratulations to Cambodia for submitting an extensive update of its first NDC,” UNFCCC executive secretary Patricia Espinosa tweeted on January 6.

UNDP Cambodia resident representative Nick Beresford told The Post on January 10 that Cambodia’s updated NDC was a comprehensive document, incorporating inputs from all key stakeholders involved in the climate change response.

“For the first time, we are seeing official emissions reduction targets set on issues like renewable energy, energy efficiency or waste management. The target to halve deforestation by 2030 is consistent with the recently approved national REDD+ strategy,” he said.

The NDC, he said, confirms the main objectives announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen at the UN Climate Ambition summit in early December last year. This is positive and reflects a growing recognition that green technologies will be a major driver of economic growth in the coming decades, and that Cambodia needs to seize this opportunity.

“In the energy sector, we believe that with current technology and price trends, Cambodia will be able to exceed the targets set for 2030, and we look forward to working with the government and private sector stakeholders to achieve this higher level of ambition,” he said.

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