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Hun Sen Asks for Help on Climate Change

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday urged developed countries to help less-developed countries with financial and technical mitigate the effects of global warming.

The premier spoke at the opening of Cambodia’s first climate change conference, which runs this week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian officials say the country is already experiencing drawbacks from global warming, including damage in September from Typhoon Ketsana.

More climate change problems, especially in farming, are foreseen for the country, whose population is 80 percent rural and agricultural.

“We are poor countries that did not create the problems of climate change, so rich countries must show more responsibility,” Hun Sen said. “Cambodia is so small, so it is not responsible for, but is a victim of, climate change.”

Developing countries have received an estimated $300 million for help adapting to climate change, but experts say the real need will reach billions of dollars.

Permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are among the worst polluters and thought to be most responsible for global warming, through emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide and methane.

These countries have a responsibility to help poor countries, which lack resources to deal with the effects of climate change, Hun Sen said. This assistance should not come with conditions, he added.

Under the Kyoto protocol, industrialized countries have an obligation to cut back their greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent below 1990 emission levels by 2012.

World leaders are to meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December to address the problems of climate change.