Climate Action Now: Taking Initiatives to Combat the Climate CrisisPublished on Thursday, June 1, 2023
On May 25th, 2023, The Institute of Energy Policy and Research (IEPRe), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) in collaboration with the Embassy of United States in Malaysia organized a speaking engagement with His Excellency Brian McFeeters, the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, entitled “Climate Action Now: Taking Initiatives to Combat the Climate Crisis.” The one-hour speaking engagement was held at the UNITEN’s theatrette in BA Building.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNITEN, Professor Ir. Dr. Noor Azuan Abu Osman initiated the speaking engagement by delivering his welcoming remark, reiterating the importance of climate change management. Professor Ir. Dr. Noor Azuan highlighted UNITEN’s initiative in establishing the National Energy Centre (NEC) to support Malaysia as a regional energy hub in the journey towards achieving net-zero emissions and combatting climate change. Subsequently, the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Brian McFeeters addressed the issue of climate crisis in his 15-minute speech, emphasizing three main strategies to combat climate change specifically the policies, technological advancements, and the economics of renewable energy (RE). It is known that lower green premiums, tax credits, and the reduction in the costs of renewable energy create a positive impact on RE development. Each state in the U.S. is competing to set its own policies to enhance RE development. Consequently, coal dependency is decreasing in the U.S. due to the improving economics of RE. His Excellency Brian McFeeters highlighted the potential for the U.S. and Malaysian companies to collaborate particularly in carbon capture and storage. He also mentioned smart cities as an initiative to gather cooperation between residents to reduce electricity usage. He urged Malaysia to accelerate RE deployment, suggesting state-based policies would be able to fast-track energy transition. At the end of his speech, the U.S. Ambassador invited Miss Katherine Diop, the Cultural Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy to share several initiatives by the embassy including scholarships, youth leadership, and exchange programs.
The speaking engagement was joined by about 130 participants mainly UNITEN students, postdoctoral researchers, and staff. Among significant questions raised by the participants during the Q&A session include:
- What is the feasibility of off-grid clean energy, particularly for rural communities in the United States? How can we apply this to the rural communities in Sabah and Sarawak?
- What are your views on data governance toward better climate adaptation and mitigation?
- Has there been any government initiatives to accelerate nuclear as a stepping stone towards net zero emission?
- How can we apply the initiatives used by the U.S. to combat climate change, given the difference in economic, social, and geographical aspects between the two countries?
The speaking engagement is a great platform to share insights and exchange valuable viewpoints to better understand the effective strategies and practices to address climate change to facilitate the energy transition towards net zero.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNITEN, Professor Ir. Dr. Noor Azuan Abu Osman delivering his welcoming remark.
The U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Brian McFeeters addressing the issue of the climate crisis.
The participants of the speaking engagement consisting UNITEN students, postdoctoral researchers and staff.