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Speeches & TranscriptsNovember 1, 2023

Remarks by Mariam Sherman at the Cambodia Country Climate and Development Report launch event on October 31, 2023

Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor to welcome you here for the launch of the Cambodia Country Climate and Development Report. 

Country Climate and Development Reports (or CCDRs) are new analytical products that examine how climate change will affect a country’s ability to achieve its development objectives.

The CCDR differs from previous analyses of climate change by taking a comprehensive look at the impacts of climate change rather than a narrow, sector-specific focus. It also connects the impacts of climate change to a country’s ability to achieve green, resilient, and inclusive development. This report brings together expertise from across the Bank for the first time.

I would like to first congratulate the team for putting together an excellent report within a short time and express my gratitude to our counterparts in the Royal Government of Cambodia for extending cooperation during the various stages of the report preparation.

As we all know, Cambodia's economy has consistently demonstrated robust growth over the last two decades, resulting in substantial reductions in poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity among its citizens.

Building on this impressive economic track record, Cambodia has now set forth an ambitious development vision. The goal is to attain upper-middle-income status by 2030 and high-income status by 2050. 

However, this vision faces significant challenges due to climate change, which is already having profound implications both directly and indirectly.

As we know, Cambodia is among the nations with the highest vulnerability to floods and extreme heat. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable regions and communities are the poorest. 

The changing climate is already disrupting Cambodia's economy and affecting people's lives and livelihoods in numerous ways.

Despite not being a major greenhouse gas emitter, Cambodia has rightly committed to the global goal as enshrined in the Paris Agreement for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

This transition also offers tremendous opportunities for exports and job creation but requires supportive policies and an improved regulatory environment.

Furthermore, the global low-carbon transition is also driving a surge in demand for lowcarbon goods and services, which could offer economic opportunities for private sector as it envisions to transition to a modern high-income economy. 

As you will hear from the team, the CCDR presents crucial findings that underline the urgency of addressing climate change. 

The good news is that Cambodia has many options to combat climate change, which could substantially reduce its impact on both economic growth and the wellbeing of Cambodians.

Cambodia has already made great progress in this area with the adoption of a new Power Development Plan, Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality, and Environmental and Natural Resources Code. 

Going forward, mobilizing financing from public, private, and international sources will be critical for Cambodia in reconciling its development ambitions with increasing climate risks.

Your Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

This CCDR comes at a critical time for informing major climate strategies currently being considered or implemented by the government and the pentagonal strategy. 

The CCDR recommendations will be a critical input to our upcoming Country Partnership Strategy discussions.

As you may know, our new mandate is about eradicating poverty in a livable planet. 

I hope we can now work together to see how to operationalize the recommendations of the CCDR to achieve this vision. Our team stands ready to work with your team.

Finally, I'd like to express our gratitude to the Royal Government of Cambodia, especially the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Ministry of Energy and any other relevant departments for their invaluable collaboration and support in this endeavor.

I would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the distinguished panelists in the upcoming session. Their participation, which includes ministers, heads of companies, representatives from research institutes, and members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is greatly appreciated for contributing their insights and expertise to this important discussion. 

Thank you.


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