Cambodia-Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS)

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"Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) is a U.S. Government initiative to support developing countries’ efforts to pursue long-term, transformative development and accelerate sustainable, climate-resilient economic growth while slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions"1


The following elements form a general framework that illustrates the U.S. perspective on LEDS:

  • Integrated development goals and objectives, national greenhouse gas inventory, and economic and resource data
  • Long-term projections of business-as-usual economic growth and greenhouse gas emission pathways
  • Alternative development scenarios that achieve economic and development goals, slow the growth rate of GHG emissions and support climate change resilience
  • Prioritized policies, programs and measures–identified through broad stakeholder engagement–that are necessary to achieve the low emission development pathway
  • Domestic implementation plans that include strategies for attracting private sector investment and channeling international support from a range of sources and appropriate partners necessary to facilitate implementation

The United States works with partner countries and key stakeholders to respond to their unique needs and priorities through targeted technical assistance and support to:

  • Enhance and strengthen existing low emission strategies, plans, and processes to ensure they are robust, transparent, and actionable
  • Strengthen in-country human and institutional capacity for LEDS development, revision, and implementation
  • Identify key policies, programs, and financing sources to advance low carbon growth

Lessons Learned and Good Practices

The U.S. works with each partner country, including key stakeholders, to respond to its unique needs and priorities through targeted technical assistance and support to help:

  • Enhance and strengthen existing strategies, plans and supporting processes to ensure they are robust, transparent and actionable
  • Work with both government and civil society partners to strengthen in-country human and institutional capacity
  • Provide tools and approaches to assist with LEDS management, revision, and implementation
  • Identify key policies, programs and financing sources and assist with designing policies and implementation plans that will promote climate-resilient economies and lead to lower-emission futures in key sectors and areas of the economy.

The EC-LEDS program supports and enhances country development programs, plans, and policies and complements efforts of other international donors.

Partner countries repeatedly request and require assistance on GHG inventory and the creation of a sustainable framework for updating GHG data. Additionally, many countries have requested staff support in the non-environmental ministries to ensure that the LEDS is cross-cutting and economy-wide.

Progress and Outcomes in Cambodia

"Cambodia is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Over the past 10 years, the country has made significant progress in addressing climate change challenges. These include important policy and development activities such as the 2013-2030 National Policy and Strategic Development Plan on Green Development, which the Cambodian government launched in March. Due to the limited institutional, technical, and financial capacity to adequately address climate change in Cambodia, many challenges remain. The MOU reaffirms the pivotal role that climate change plays in economic development and lays the framework for future U.S. government programming in the environment sector.

In Cambodia, USAID supports a broad range of programs designed to benefit all Cambodians in areas such as health, education, economic growth, poverty alleviation, agriculture, natural resource management, democracy, governance, human rights, and anti-trafficking in persons. USAID/Cambodia provided over $65 million in assistance in 2012."

On June 2, 2013, Rebecca Black, Mission Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and H.E. Dr. Mok Mareth, Senior Minister and Chair of Cambodia’s National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Low Emissions and Climate Resilient Development in Cambodia, outlining specific areas for cooperation in the agriculture and forestry sectors and strengthening support for a greenhouse gas inventory, climate change capacity building, international coordination for green growth, and integrating climate change adaptation into green growth strategies.

Cambodia is the 19th country to sign an MOU on “Enhancing Capacity for Low Emissions Development Strategies” (EC-LEDS) and to become an official EC-LEDS partner country with the United States. Both countries developed this agreement as a product of President Obama’s Global Climate Change Initiative. Other Asian countries partnering with the United States on EC-LEDS include Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India."2

Fact Sheet



  1.  "EC-LEDS"