It is quite lamentable that the biggest contributor – biomass – to Cambodia’s total energy mix is also one that gets probably the least attention among researchers and government alike.
Biomass energy makes up 70 percent of Cambodia’s energy consumption, more than 90 percent of which – according to FloWood: A Study of Biomass Energy Demand Patterns in Cambodia undertaken by GERES from the middle of 2013 till end-2014 – is supplied by woodfuel (firewood and charcoal), representing 4.3 million tons (or 2 million ton oil equivalent) of Cambodia’s primary wood consumption annually.
As industries in countries in the Mekong region begin to compete in the global stage, they also unfortunately realize that their products – measured by laboratories in their own countries which most often do not comply with international testing standards – do not measure up to recognized global standards. This non-conformation of laboratories with internationally-recognized testing quality standards presents a “technical barrier to trade,” a fact recognized by the World Trade Organization.
photo screen grabbed from Politikoffee’s Facebook page
On June 13th, a group of young Cambodians sat wide-eyed listening to a presentation that opened their mind to that phenomenon that EVERYBODY in the world is talking about – climate change.
More than 20 members of Politikoffee, a youth organization that meet up once a week – over coffee (and not alcohol as is common among many Cambodian youth!) – to discuss and debate on pertinent political issues affecting Cambodian society, gathered and diverged for once from their usual politics talks, and talked about the earth’s climate and how its warming is affecting – and could further affect – humanity.