Minister of Environment Say Samal called on high-emission countries to show leadership and responsibility by increasing their climate change adaption measures and raising their targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Samal made the call on November 15 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, while addressing the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). He urged countries with high emissions to provide funding as promised to developing nations as soon as possible to address climate change.

“In particular, they have committed to provide $100 billion, as quickly as was possible or practical, and accelerate the transfer of technology to developing countries to address climate change,” he said.

He stated that, as ASEAN chair, Cambodia has suggested an ASEAN Green Deal, an initiative by Prime Minister Hun Sen aimed at orienting the bloc on the path of green and sustainable development.

He noted that over the last two decades, Cambodia has transformed from a low-income country to a low-middle-income one, and is on track to becoming a higher-middle-income nation.

But at the same time, he said climate change is hampering the development process, destroying physical infrastructure, property and human and animal life, he added.

“In response, Cambodia has committed about 2.3 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to climate change activities, increased the use of renewable energy, protected forests and prepared legal documents, policies and plans to support these actions,” he said.

These include Cambodia’s carbon-neutral long-term development strategy and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) update report on its implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), which will contribute to supporting sustainable development despite climate change.

Ministry secretary of state Neth Pheaktra said Samal’s remarks were in response to the growth of environmental management work.

“Cambodia, as well as the region, is proud of the importance that ASEAN places on cooperation for the benefit of the world. This includes environmental protection, clean energy use and sustainable development – in line with the ASEAN vision after 2025,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen first proposed an ASEAN Green Deal, in light of the challenges caused by climate change in the region, at the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings held in Siem Reap province on September 14.

He expressed his confidence that the deal would allow the ASEAN region to gradually pivot towards a green future that is sustainable while retaining the efficient use of resources, resilience and economic competitiveness.