World Conference on Climate Change starts – deciding our future

When I wrote on my blog last time on 24 October 2015, I did it with a critical question under the headline: “World wide climate change – not a Cambodian problem?”

Just some days later I saw that I was wrong: The Phnom Penh Post reported on 23 November 2015 that Prime Minister Hun Sen “urges cooperation on climate problems” – saying that problems are “obviously happening,” as this issue “requires enhancing cooperation amongst all relevant stakeholders.”

This is an important public call just before the “Twentyfirst Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)” – the conference with a long official name, also called briefly “COP21.”

It is expected that about 40,000 negotiators, including 10,000 official delegates from 195 countries will meet in Paris – to finalize the results, drawn from thousands of studies and documents elaborated during the last couple of years. Among them 150 world leaders are expected to participate, including the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the Chinese President Xi Jingling, and the US President Barack Obama.

It has been reported that the two leaders will meet at the beginning of this process, as the leaders of the two countries who are the largest polluters of the world – an indication of the common understanding of the critical nature of climate change for the whole world.

This huge efforts reflect the concerns with which to deal: for the lives of humans, animals, and plants on the earth, now and in future generations. A sum-up of this whole effort say:

World leaders vow to seek 2-degree climate deal

Leaders of the world’s top economies have vowed to seek a deal to stave off catastrophic global warming at the Paris conference, according to a draft statement drawn up on Monday [16 November 2015].

Negotiators at the Group of 20 Summit haggled though the night on the text of the statement as Saudi Arabia and India initially refused to include specific climate goals like curbing global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, sources said.

Megacities swamped by sea rise: Australia’s coastal capitals would slip under the waves along with megacities across the world even if global warming can be limited to 2 degrees Celsius, scientists say.

The climate meeting aims to find a new international pact to be signed by 195 countries to fight global warming.


Prime Minister Hun Sen’s call is just in time, as the international climate conference COP21 starts. But some reference tasks quoted by the press show how far behind we are in Cambodia, when there is now made a call for the ratification of the “Kyoto Protocol” of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, committing its signatories to set internationally binding emission reduction targets. Considering that the last 150 years of industrial development in the world created more pollution by the so called economically developed countries, it placed heavier burdens on them, under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”

The “Kyoto Protocol” had been adopted in 1997 by a UN conference held in Kyoto in Japan, it entered into implementation in 2005, and the commitment period started in years 2008 and ended already in 2012. What is to be adopted and implemented now is, what we may know soon, after the end of the Paris COP21 conference.

The following picture shows that in some countries, people have realized that only broad, common action can lead to progress in this complex problem. It is, of course, also a call for more awareness and common action all around the globe.

A Filipino woman walks past demonstrators holding banners during the Global Climate March in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, Philippines [EPA]

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