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Oluwadamilola Titilope OSEKITA


From wildfires in Bolivia, floods, and mudslides in South Africa, Nepal, and Myanmar, to heatwaves in Australia and Europe, the impact of climate change is felt globally but in unequal measures, as developing and least developed countries suffer the most devastating impacts despite being the least contributors. As a result, climate change is center stage because countries and their governments, organisations as well as multinationals are battling to contain its effects. Through the Nationally Determined Contributions of the Paris Agreement, countries pledged to mitigate climate change in their capacities. However, some of these contributions are overly ambitious for poor countries like Cambodia measuring it against their national capacities. Therefore, this paper investigates Cambodia’s official position on climate change vis-à-vis its current environmental practices, mitigation policies, and strategies by analysing three major climate change amplifiers – waste, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions to determine whether it is the environmentally friendly country it portrays itself to be internationally or simply greenwashing. This paper merges both qualitative content and document analyses of official policy documents and agreements, reports, data, and publications of major climate change stakeholders in Cambodia.  By in-depth analysis, it is established that Cambodia shows commitment to combating climate change, however, with current environmental practices and policy implementation, Cambodia moves towards solving the pressing issues of hunger and poverty with economic growth and development as a priority before consideration for the climate and environment. On this basis, it is recommended that the least developed countries set and maintain realistic climate goals and continue to receive external support from developed countries with monitoring and evaluating systems established to be up to par in the fulfilment of global agendas such as Agenda 2030.  

Keywords: greenwashing, climate change, El Niño, climate action, Cambodia, climate justice


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