Last year, there was much discussion on the Paris Agreement which has been hailed as an important and critical milestone in strengthening global efforts to combat the negative effects of climate change. Some of its aspirations were considered lofty by some, unrealistic by others. What could be agreed upon is that discussion and debate needed to continue followed by concrete action and implementation.
In efforts to continue the discussion and debate, Mahathir Science Award Foundation (MSAF), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) organised a lecture and panel discussion on the efforts needed to translate the Paris Agreement through strategic investment in science and technology. The programme was supported by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Research Innitiative (SEADPRI) and our collaborative partners Ambank Group, British High Commission Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Al Bukhary Foundation.
In his opening remarks, MSAF Trustee and President of Academy of Sciences – Tan Sri Datuk Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, spoke about the importance of the topic. Restating ASM’s stand, he urged everyone – individuals, businesses and governments – to take prompt action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
“There is much that can be done now to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases without excessive cost. We believe that there is also a need for a major co-ordinated research effort focusing on the science and technology that underpin mitigation and adaptation strategies related to climate change. This effort should involve scientists from throughout the world. The balance of the scientific evidence demands effective steps now to avert damaging changes to the earth’s climate”.
The lecture was given by distinguished Emeritus Professor Lord Julian Hunt who is Honorary Professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge and Professor of Climate Modelling at the Department of Earth Sciences, University College London. A Visiting Fellow of the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre at Cambridge, he was Director General and Chief Executive of the Meteorological Office, a position he held for 5 years. He also shared insight on the discussions at COP 21 in Paris.
The panel discussion portion of the programme was moderated by Professor Dato Dr Imran Ho Abdullah, Deputy Vice – Chancellor of UKM, Industry and Community Partnerships ), UKM. Joining Lord Hunt in the discussion were Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Past President of ASM and MSAF Trustee and Dr Gary William Theseira, Deputy Undersecretary, Environmental Management and Climate Change Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.