• Cambodia is projected to experience warming of 3.1°C by the 2090s, against the baseline conditions over 1986–2005 under the highest emissions pathway, RCP8.5.
• Increases in annual maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be larger than the rise in average temperature, increasing pressures on human health, livelihoods, and ecosystems.
• Increased incidence of extreme heat represents a major threat to human health in Cambodia, especially for outdoor laborers and urban populations for whom heat rises are compounded by the urban heat island effect.
• Climate change may also increase the likelihood of transmission of water and vector-borne diseases, but this is an area requiring further research.
• Without action, the population exposed to an extreme river flood could grow by around 4 million by the 2040s, however human development factors such as the damming of the Mekong River as well as the large-scale dams built on its tributaries, may alter future flood dynamics.
• Climate change and human influences, such as upstream dam construction and deforestation, over the Mekong River’s hydrological regime threaten to reduce the productivity of the Tonle Sap Lake and Cambodia’s fisheries – a significant threat to the livelihoods and nourishment of many poor, rural communities.
• Projected climate change trends indicate more severe floods and droughts, which is expected to affect Cambodia’s GDP by nearly 10% by 2050
• Significant adaptation efforts are required to manage loss of yields due to the projected increases in the incidence of extreme heat during the growing season of staple crops such as rice, particularly for poorer communities operating at subsistence level and reliant upon rain-fed agriculture.
• The impacts outlined above may significantly exacerbate existing issues of wealth and income inequality and will hinder poverty alleviation efforts.