ROAD TO DURBAN – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) joins cast of thousands at COP17


The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Sessions of the Conference of Parties serving the Meeting of parties (CMP7) to Kyoto protocol started from 28 November to 9 December 2011.  Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) joins cast of thousands at COP17 as one of civil societies and observers from Malaysia to carry out exhibition and side events in this global event.

UTM participation in this event provides opportunity for UTM as premier university in research on sustainability and environmental engineering showcasing the research work on Low carbon society scenarios and climate change initiatives. In conjunction with global event, participants may carry out exhibition on their research work, products, organization movement and activities related to climate change. In addition, participants may also apply to the UNFCCC to have side events on major issues in the Convention process related to adaptation, mitigation and cross cutting issues. A total of 200 exhibitors and 235 side events focused on major climate change issues are carried out over the 2 week duration.

In this conference,  UTM is the only university from Malaysia to register as a member of observers and civil societies of UNFCCC. The other top universities registered as member of observers and civil society are Australian National University (ANU), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, McGill University, University of California, University of Michigan, United Nation University(UNU) and Keio university ( to name a few ) to carry out exhibitions in COP 17.

In this exhibition UTM showcased researches on Low carbon society scenarios studies which include

a)      Low Carbon regional development of Iskandar Malaysia

b)      Baseline studies of Putrajaya Green City Malaysia

c)      Preliminary studies on Cyberjaya Green City

The three (3) above research activities illustrated how researches and scientific quantification of carbon emission by modeling can assist the policy makers to make more rationale and pragmatic solution. These studies involved strong collaboration between UTM and  implementing agencies such as Iskandar Malaysia, Putrajaya Corporation, Federal Town and Country Planning Department and Malaysian Green Technology Corporation. The research team with multi disciplinary researchers aims to prepare a roadmap toward Low Carbon scenarios at city-regional levels, in line with Malaysia’s voluntary commitment to reduce the country’s carbon emission intensity by 40% by the year 2020 based on the 2005 level.

Apart from local experts, this research project also involved joint effort between two countries namely; Japan and Malaysia. The team of researchers is from Kyoto University, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Okayama University and UTM. This research project is supported by JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency), and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) under the SATREPS (Science and Technology Research  Partnership for Sustainable development)  program. Expected total budget is about 200 Million JPY(Japanese Yen) as ODA  “technical cooperation” . This project is also listed as one of the major activities in Japan-Malaysia Joint Leaders’ Statement “Enhanced Partnership for a New Frontier announced in 2010 by Prime Ministers of both countries.

In addition to the exhibition, UTM together with  NIES, Japan  jointly organized a side event entitled  “Low Carbon Society in Asia -From Planning to Implementation” on Dec 2, 2011at River Rex Hall, COP17 Event hall. It was attended by about 100 participants from more than 10 countries. In this event, Prof  Ir Mohd Azraai Kassim, Deputy Vice Chancellor UTM and Dr Hideaki Nakane of Director of NIES gave the opening remarks and followed by  keynote presentation on How  Research contribute to Low Carbon Asia. Dr Kanuma Mikiko of NIES overviewed the Pathway towards Low Carbon Asia in Japan, China, India and ASEAN countries. Prof Dr Ho Chin Siong of  Universiti Teknologi Malaysia discussed on how UTM collaborative research work with Japanese counterparts and  Iskandar Malaysia Development Authority (IRDA) can contribute to Low Carbon regional development in Malaysia.

This 90 minute session of side event ended with panel discussion on the roles of implementing agencies and policy makers and also challenges of Low Carbon society development in Asia. The panelists on the above topics are

Dr. Jiang Kejun, Energy Research Institute, China.

Dr. Shuzo Nishioka, Low Carbon Society Reseach Network, Japan

Dr. Mikiko Kainuma , NIES Japan.

Prof. P.R. Shukla, Indian Institute of Management, India.

Prof. Ho Chin Siong , Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Mr. Mohamad Sa’elal, Iskandar Regional Development Authority, Malaysia.