Climate Change

What is climate change?

Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcing, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

What are the causes of climate change?

  • Natural factors: changes in solar, slowly changing of earth orbit around the sun, changes sea level and air currents. 
  • Human activities: burning of fossil fuel, deforestation, land encroachment for agriculture, urban expansion, landfill etc.

What is Greenhouse Effect?

A greenhouse is a house with transparent plastic or glass roof and walls that is built to grow vegetables, flowers or other plants in temperate and colder countries. A greenhouse protects and provides heat to plants: its roof and walls allow sunlight to enter and prevent heat from escaping. This effect is known as the "greenhouse effect".

What are Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)?

The earth's atmosphere contains some gases known as greenhouse gases, which occur naturally: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ozone (O3). 

Anthropogenic emission included CO2, N2O, and CH4, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

What is Climate Change Adaptation?

It is a process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects.

What is Climate Change Mitigation?

It is a human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Mitigation activities included afforestation, water and electricity saving, reduce and reuse of solid waste, biodigester and solar energy.

Why climate change has become a big issue for Cambodia?

Cambodia has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the region. The country’s high vulnerability is based on a combination of factors including expected frequency of climate hazards such as droughts, floods as well as low adoptive capacity to climate change.  

Climate change poses a real threat to people’s livelihood while it has negative impacts on agriculture resulting in food insecurity. In Cambodia this is particularly concerning given that about 70 per cent of the population make their living from agriculture productivity.

How do different lines Ministries cooperate with each other on climate change?

The Royal Government of Cambodia established National Climate Change Committee (NCCC), the top inter-ministerial organization, with mandate to prepare, coordinate and monitor the implementation of policies, strategies, legal instruments, plans and programs to address climate change within Cambodia in 2006. With its 21 members from all ministries and agencies of government, NCCC thus is a governmental platform for different ministries to work together on climate change topic. 

Then National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) took over NCCC and was established in 2015. NCSD is a policy making body to promote sustainable development, including climate change, and to ensure economic, environmental, social and cultural balance within the Kingdom of Cambodia. The new body constitutes 63 honorable chair, chairman and members within 61 institutions/agencies at the national and sub-national level.

What financial mechanisms exist to support Cambodia’s efforts on climate change? national level? global level?

Cambodia developed a Climate Change Financing Framework to support the Cambodia Climate Change Strategy. 

At the national level, the government is already supporting a number of programmes in support of the climate change agenda, for example through allocations for disaster management, or hydropower, and this will continue to be a priority for the national budget. The private sector also has an important role to play to invest in climate change resilient technologies, and we will be working to strengthen this partnership. 

As a developing country with high vulnerability to climate change, Cambodia expects to receive significant external support, in line with international commitments. Over 250 million USD have been mobilized over the past few years to support an initial set of climate change activities, from a number of bilateral and multilateral sources. As we move forward and based on this initial experience, we expect these resources to significantly increase, especially with the launch of the Green Climate Fund. 

Finally, in addition to mobilizing additional resources, there are also some measures we can take to ensure that the current public investments (both internally and externally funded) better take into account the changing climate in their design, so that these investments provide maximum economic, social and environmental benefits in the long term.

Green Economy

What is Green Growth?

The definition of this term has been defined differently depending on areas of work, institutions, nations and regions.There are several interesting definition are shown.

  1. the Government of Cambodia (2009) - “Defined as environmentally sustainable progress that fosters low-carbon, socially inclusive development”.
  2. “Is about making growth processes resource efficient, cleaner and more resilient without necessarily slowing them. Development that is green [which  here means resources‐ efficient], clean and resilient.” ~ World Bank (2011).
  3. “Fostering  economic growth and  development, while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on  which our well‐being relies.” ~ OECD (2011).

Which department mainly undertake green growth in Cambodia?

the Department of Green Economy who is under the supervison of the General Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development has been significantly support the government throughtout many projects and programs, and green gowth policy mainstreaming as well as policy formulation. Importantly,this department has been collaborating with an international organization known as Global Green Gorwth Institute (GGGI) since 2015 to implement various national programs and projects such as Green Urban Development Program, energy sector and transport.

What is Green Economy?

  1. “One that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” ~ UNEP (2011).
  2. “A system of economic​ activities ​​related  to the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services that result in improved human well‐being over the long term, while not exposing future generations to significant environmental risks or ecological scarcities.” ~ UNEP (2009)​ and 
  3. “A resilient economy that  provides a better quality of life for all within the ecological limits of the planet.” ~ Green Economy Coalition (2011)

What is sustainable development?

The United Nations defines the sustainable development as "The development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". It is generally looking at the three main aspects such as Environment, Economic and Society.

What are green growth related policies and documents?

The government of Cambodia has estabalished several essentail green growth related documents which provide foundamental concepts to support a number of strategic plans and policies as well as national and sub-national programs projects. These include 

  1. National Policy on Green Growth (2013), 
  2. National Strategic Plan on Green Growth (2013 -2030), 
  3. Green Growth Roadmap (2010), 
  4. Green City Strategic Plan Methodology (2016), 
  5. Green City Strategic Plan for Phnom Penh 2017 - 2026. 

How does green growth relate to Sustainable Development Goals?

The Green Growth concept would support Cambodian Government to maximize the successes of its SDGs by 2030 in 11 goals such as 
Goal #1: end poverty in all its forms everywhere, 
Goal #2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, 
Goal #6: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, 
Goal #7: ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, 
Goal #8: promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, 
Goal #9: build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, 
Goal #10: reduce inequality within and among countries, 
Goal #11: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, 
Goal #12: ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, 
Goal #14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,and 
Goal #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. 

Human resource within the Department of Green Economy

As it is newly established in 2015, the Department of Green Economy is daily operated by about 15 government officials who graduated in Bachelor (30%), Master (50%) and PhD (20%) from various major such as envrionment, law, sustainablity, forestry and natural resource management, urban planning, administrative management, and agriculture. 

What green city development in Cambodia?

 It provide a roadmap for Cambodian policymakers, local administrators and their national and international development partners in order to pursue the implementation of urban green growth in the context of tackling climate change, while simultaneously pursuing economic development, poverty alleviation and social inclusion. The target audience of this document is therefore multiple stakeholders, and includes national and municipal officials, as well as representatives of private sector, development agencies, non-governmental organizations and academia. It is looking at eight important areas such 

  1. urban planning, 
  2. urban vulnerability, 
  3. energy, 
  4. transport, 
  5. built environment,
  6. manufacturing,
  7. solid waste
  8. public space and cultural heritage.