The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642
“Criticism will have no influence in making Cambodia, a poor country, to reduce the emission of CO2 which pollutes the environment. But the provision of funds is the best way to help to reduce the emissions that lead to global climate changes.
“While the government will express its position during the discussions about climate change in Copenhagen, the coordinator at the national level of the office of climate change of the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Tin Ponlok, said, ‘We should not focus on the problems of industrialized countries.’
“Mr. Tin Ponlok added, ‘As many industrialized countries as possible must provide specific financial support to help developing countries to adapt themselves to the impacts from climate change.’
“His appeal was based on the core agenda of the discussion at the climate conference in Copenhagen, which is being held during 11 days, where Cambodian officials from some relevant ministries will encourage the provision of more financial support for the efforts of this country to reduce the impact from climate change.
“In November, during the final discussions about climate change in Barcelona, the developed countries decided not to reply to requests for financial support, which would require them to prepare resources from 1% to 5% of their countries’ GDP for a fund on climate change for poor countries.
“In Copenhagen, developed countries are trying to estimate how much resources they should contribute, and they consider whether a reduction of CO2 emission by 40% by 2020 is too high or not, which would mean to be at a comparable level with the amount of emissions in 1990, a goal that developing countries are appealing to achieve.
“Mr. Tin Ponlok said that Cambodia is the one, among the 8 most vulnerable countries, under threat from climate change, that was selected into a pilot program of the World bank, the Climate Resilience project, which aims to expand efforts to combat the impacts from climate change, and it is expected that Cambodia will not be able to reduce CO2 emission unless financial support, especially for new technologies, is increased.
“Mr. Tin Ponlok spoke to participants, students, officials from non-government organizations, and government officials, saying, ‘It will not happen through the market economy, unless developed countries provide funds to least developed countries, otherwise we can not join significantly to reduce our CO2 emissions.’
“According to the World Bank’s estimation, US$10 billion in total per year have to be provided for climate change assistance to developing countries, compared to the estimated annual needs, US$75 million is for adaptation, and US$400 billion for the reduction of impacts from climate change.
The numbers in the previous paragraph do not match. We bring therefore a section of a World Bank Study which was probably the background for the Cambodian newspaper report above:
The Costs to Developing Countries of Adapting to Climate Change
New Methods and Estimates
The Global Report of the Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change Study
Four lessons stand out from the study:
First, adaptation to a 2° Celsius warmer world will be costly. The study puts the cost of adapting between 2010 and 2050 to an approximately 2oC warmer world by 2050 at $75 billion to $100 billion a year. The estimate is in the upper range of existing estimates, which vary from $4 billion to $109 billion. Although the estimate involves considerable uncertainty (especially on the science side), it gives policymakers—for the first time—a carefully calculated number to work with. The value added of the study lies in the consistent methodology used to estimate the cost of adaptation—in particular, the way the study operationalizes the concept of adaptation.
From a 109 pages World Bank document: The Costs to Developing Countries of Adapting to Climate Change (strangely enough it is not dated, but probably still recent).
“In a report of the World Wildlife Fund last month, Phnom Penh is considered the 3rd most vulnerable city in Asia regarding climate change, together with Calcutta. The World Wildlife Fund said that Cambodia is vulnerable to the impacts from climate change, such as droughts and floods.
“Mr. Tin Ponlok added, ‘Developing countries, especially the least developed countries, are the victims of climate change.’
“He went on to say, ‘We are not at the root of the problem,’ adding, ‘developed countries must act, and developing countries can join voluntarily.’
“However, regarding this position, environmentalists thought that putting all the burden on developed countries can make poor countries have a pretext to develop differently as they like [without considerations for the environment].
“In a new report in October, the NGO Forum on Cambodia said that the government should open the market for decentralized energy production. In addition, a statement released yesterday by the Asian Development Bank voiced some concerns about future consequences that the developing countries in Asia may create for the environment.
“The Asian Development Bank said, ‘While the emissions of CO2 on average into the atmosphere is in a low level at present, when the economy grows, incomes increase, then most emission of CO2 will come from vehicles, electricity plants, and deforestation.’ The CO2 emission in the world by developing countries in Asia might increase up to 40% easily, before or by 2030.
“The power development plan of Cambodia for 2010 to 2020 calls for the construction of coal fired electricity generators at 9 places, which will add more CO2 emission from Cambodia, and 9 hydro-electric dams.
“Though they made an appeal for decentralized power systems, the executive director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, Mr. Chhit Sam Ath, said recently in an interview, ‘The developed countries should really commit themselves to reduce greenhouse gases in their countries, and compensate developing countries for damages on those countries, as they do nothing [for substantially polluting the environment].’
“He added, ‘Compensation should be provided in the form of the transfer of technologies, capacity building, and financial support for developing countries, so that they have the ability to deal with climate change problems.
“A coordinating official on climate change of the non-government organization GERES, Mr. Heng Pheakdey, agreed with this idea.
“He said that developing countries like Cambodia need a proper and ambitious agreement in which industrialized countries must commit themselves to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases more strongly and more quickly. This aid should be linked with conditions that can be accepted.
“He added, ‘Nevertheless, it still depends on the government to use those resources to invest in renewable energy and to provide incentives to attract more investments in this sector.’
“The executive director of Oxfam America in Cambodia, Mr. Brian Lund, wrote in an email, saying, ‘It is very important that the least developed countries, including Cambodia, create different systems to work towards climate change.’
“He added, ‘Remember that this is a global issue, so everyone is concerned whether the funds are spent properly and that the poorest and most vulnerable countries are supported.’
“However, it is expected that developing countries and also the least developed countries will be willing to help to care for the environment, but they should avoid using environmental reasons as a basis for asking for funds.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1829, 9.12.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #357, 9.12.2009
- [The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats - CALD - Nominated [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua as the Chair of the CALD Women’s Caucus
- Samdech Ta [the Grandfather King] and Samdech Yeay [the Grandmother Queen] Sent Best Wishes to Samdech Chea Sim to Recover Soon [he is being treated in Singapore for hypertension]
- Samdech Hun Sen Will Leave to Laos Today to Attend the 25th South East Asian Games
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2118, 9.12.2009
- Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Congratulated  Khmer Students for Winning Prizes from the Isles International University in Europe
- The Official of the World Health Organization [Dr. Michel Thieren]: 30,000 Cambodian People Have Diabetes
Also the Cambodia Daily of 9 December 2009 described the event, stating that 19 “senior officials, lawmakers and businessmen were awarded doctoral degrees yesterday morning by the Isles International University, an organization that appears to be an international diploma mill with strong links to the discredited Irish International University… which was exposed as having no links to Ireland’s educational system in 2006, after having awarded honorary degrees to a number of politicians, including to the premier himself….”
The member of the National Assembly, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that the study was free, “but he paid $20,000 to have his thesis translated from Khmer to English,… Mr Mong Reththy said he had also paid $20,000 in the process of earning the doctorate.”
In an information sheet distributed at yesterday’s ceremony, Isles International University claims to have been ‘approved
by the Minister of Education in the Brithsh Isles of Grea Brivtain’ in an apparent reference to Great Britain. However, IIU’s name does not appear on a list of accredited, degree-awarding universities provided yesterday by the British Embassy in Phnom Penh.”
Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #692, 9.12.2009
- Samdech Norodom Sihanouk [the former King] Enters a Hospital in Beijing [for medical checkups] while [the President of the Senate] Chea Sim, Is Recovering from His Illness in Singapore
- The Cambodian Angkor Air Is Served by Vietnamese Staff, and It Is Not Appropriate to Say that It Represents the Nation
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #550, 9.12.2009
- Khmers who Live Abroad Held a Non-Violent Demonstration in Front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva in Switzerland [demanding real freedom and democratic rights for the Khmer people]
Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6826, 9.12.2009
- The Department for Criminal Affairs of the Ministry of Interior Arrested Two Black Men for Using Fake Credit Cards [Svay Rieng]
Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #63, 9.12.2009
- The Human Rights Party Asked the Ministry of Interior to Disclose the Number of Immigrants [in Cambodia]
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5068, 9.12.2009
- The Thai Spy Was Sentenced to Serve 7 Years in Prison and Ordered to Pay Riel 10 Million as a Fine [approx. US$2,500; for releasing information about the flight plan of former Thai prime minister, convicted and fugitive from his two years prison conviction for corruption, claiming that the disclosure of the flight plan affected the public order and security of Cambodia. Flight plans in most countries are always kept public, as a measure to facilitate the exchange of flight plan information for air traffic safety]
- A Strong Woman Cheated a Korean Investor for Millions of Dollars [about US$10 million] and Was Arrested [Phnom Penh]
- A Traffic Accident Grabbed Lives of Four People, because They Got Drunk, Riding Motorbikes and Hit a Car [coming from the opposite direction - Kompong Speu]
- The European Union Grants an Additional US$1.3 Million for Human Rights Projects in Cambodia
Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1829, 9.12.2009
- Carbon Dioxide Emissions Become a Means for Cambodia to Ask for Money
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