November 2014, Phnom Penh – By patronizing and using fuel-efficient improved cookstoves, the people of Cambodia – approximately more than 800,000 individuals who had repeatedly purchased and used GERES’ New Lao Stove between 2003 and 2013 – had collectively financed a national biomass energy strategy developed and implemented by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in collaboration with GERES and multiple donors.
By disseminating over 2.4 million units of the New Lao Stove –a domestic cookstove with improved grate and insulation designed for better efficiency– between 2003 and 2013, GERES was found, after a rigorous technical validation and verification process, to have facilitated a reduction in carbon emissions to the atmosphere amounting to 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq). A portion of those carbon credits – over 1.4 million tCO2eq – was successfully sold at various voluntary carbon markets to various entities – businesses, organizations, individuals – from Asia, Europe and Oceania willing to support climate change mitigation projects while at the same time offsetting their carbon emissions. The resulting sale amounting to over US$11.8 million had allowed GERES and its partners to expand the improved cookstove project into an integrated national biomass energy strategy.
Welcome to the worlds of carbon and climate finance – timely topics made relevant especially to those – governments, organizations, NGOs – that perform climate adaptation, mitigation and forest conservation work.
Climate finance drives the whole global climate change response following an international consensus, articulated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the resulting Kyoto Protocol, recognizing climate change as a real threat to humanity. The whole climate finance architecture is complex and evolving and includes funds from both multilateral and bilateral channels, as well as the private sector.
Cambodia is considered as one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change. Due to increasing availability of global climate change financing, Cambodia has the necessary support, not only to provide short-term response to the already felt effects of climate change in the country, but as well to take advantage of low-carbon sustainable development options. Government, donors, NGOs and the private sector could all work further together to optimize global climate change support, including market-based climate financing options, for Cambodia’s sustainable development.
To make sense of climate finance and its role in Cambodia’s response to climate change and potential to steer the country towards sustainable development, a Roundtable Discussion on Climate Finance for Development will be held on 25 November 2014, 15.00HH, at The Quay Boutique Hotel along Sisowath Quay. Representatives from the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance/United Nations Development Programme, Cambodia Development Resource Institute, Nexus-Carbon for Development, and Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity, will join the panel of government and development experts and workers, to shed light into the issues surrounding climate finance.
The roundtable discussion hopes to open up a conversation on the subject of climate finance and its role in Cambodia’s development. Panelists and guests will share their experience and knowledge on the subject with a view to identifying ways on how to work better together to effectively utilize existing mechanisms to be able to tap into this potentially vast resource for the country’s development.
GERES, an NGO working on the biomass energy sector in Cambodia for the past 20 years, has got a story to share about its having successfully accessed carbon finance, which had allowed the organization to bring its improved cookstove project to scale (more than 3.5 million units disseminated as of August 2014), and had provided the necessary resource to expand the project into a national biomass energy strategy. Based on meticulous technological research, testing and design, and backed by intensive and extensive research-based knowledge of the Cambodia biomass energy sector, the program currently includes interventions in all critical pieces of the entire biomass energy value chain: starting from the end use (clean domestic cooking technology) and supply chain (Improved Cookstove Producers and Distributors Association), and going all the way back up to fuel (sustainable charcoal and charbriquette production) and fuel source (sustainable forest management).
Madelline ROMERO, Communication Officer
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OUTCOMES, a publication looking into the story of GERES’ Carbon-financed work in Cambodia, will be launched after the Roundtable Discussion on Climate Finance.