02/11/2022, 15.38
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Cambodia sells carbon credits

by Steve Suwannarat

Cambodia follows Indonesia's example to enhance environmental sustainability. The government's new strategy is aimed at protecting forests and achieve emissions neutrality by 2050. Local communities will benefit most of all.

Phnom Penh (AsiaNews) – After Indonesia, Cambodia is the second Southeast Asian country to sell carbon credits, netting US$ 11 million between 2016 and 2020, accompanied by a policy of economic growth, greater energy efficiency and environmental protection.

Carbon credits are tradable certificates or permits for companies, communities and countries to offset excess carbon emissions as part of efforts to achieve environmental sustainability.

The carbon offsets market is projected to reach US$ 700 million by mid-decade, up from US$ 300 million in 2020 with the money raised usually ploughed back into carbon reduction.

In Cambodia, Disney, Shell and Gucci are among the international companies that bought carbon credits, basing their choice on independent assessments and the commitment of local organisations, like the Conservation Society Cambodia, to work with the authorities to achieve the same goals.

Today, Cambodia published its plan for carbon neutrality. Known officially as the Long-term strategy for Carbon Neutrality (LTS4CN), it was submitted to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 30 December 2021.

“The strategy is a highly significant step for Cambodia, a strong supporter of multilateral action on climate change, to reach carbon neutrality by 2050,” said a joint statement by the National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) and the Ministry of the Environment

This is a proactive change, aimed at guaranteeing funding for the conservation of forest areas, which have been recovering since the devastation caused during the Vietnam War and the subsequent conflict between Khmer Rouge-ruled Cambodia and Vietnam.

For decades, the exploitation of Cambodia’s forests and natural resources has favoured a precarious and uneven development, mostly entrusted to foreign or local interests connected to Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country for more than 30 years with an iron fist.

For Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra, the new strategy expresses a desire to follow a path that benefits local communities through sustainable agriculture, ecotourism and renewable resources.

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