If we can come up with innovations and train young people to take on new jobs, and if we can switch to clean energy, I think we have the capacity to build this world not dependent on fossil-fuel. I think it will happen, and it won’t destroy economy -Kofi Annan-
by | Rushdi Abdul Rahim | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear readers, I am glad to note that we are now able to see blue skies and sunshine again after few months of haze. The haze has been disruptive, not only affecting our health but also our daily lives, with schools closing and outdoor activities being cancelled. The reaction to this phenomenon, however, has been rather muted because we have been expecting it. Our annoyance has been more due to its intensity rather than its occurrence. Is an annual haze now a “new normal”
People I talked to are aware that the causes of the haze could be natural or it could be man-made. For the past few years, efforts are being made to mitigate the haze that occurs naturally. Scientific and technological solutions are being put into action. However, haze caused by human activities are another matter. Scientific solutions are more geared towards minimizing its impact and consequences. It is unfortunate that in our attempt to be develop and grow economically, we contribute towards the degradation of our environment.
This trend will likely continue as managing growing cities and their supply of resources is a formidable task that places heavy demands on the environment. That is why more emphasis nowadays is put on the development of green technology or clean technology – one of the effective ways to improve and minimize environmental damage.
Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General and Nobel Laureate, once said, “If we can come up with innovations and train young people to take on new jobs, and if we can switch to clean energy, I think we have the capacity to build a world not dependent on fossil-fuel. I think it will happen, and it won’t destroy the economy”.
The Sustainable Development Summit last September saw UN Member States commit to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in which climate change is one out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Climate change and sustainability issues were discussed during the 2015 Global Science Innovation Advisory Council meeting in New York and again during the APEC Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents (APEC CSAE) Meeting. Scientists from all around the world gathered to discuss ways to mitigate and address climate change.
Green growth for sustainability and resilience is also outlined in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan 2016-2020, which describes the need to increase the rate of renewable energy adoption and encourages low carbon mobility and an integrated approach to waste management.
That is why a programme like the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) is of critical importance, as it is one of the programmes that support the greening of the future – facilitating innovation in four technology categories: renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste-to-wealth and water efficiency. GCIP Malaysia is a collaboration between MIGHT, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
This greening of the future initiative is expected to generate significant growth and create jobs especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries by seizing a slice of the $1.6 trillion market opportunity in clean technology*.
This issue of myForesight is on clean technology or green technology practices – how we can support economic growth while reducing pollution and waste. I hope you’ll enjoy our last issue for 2015. We will continue to publish on many other topics in our upcoming issues. As always, we welcome any feedback and article contributions.
Meanwhile, for more news and articles please tune in to www.s2a.gov.my and www.myforesight.my for our latest news and updates.