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Yale professor urges local contribution to mitigation of global climate change

Tainan, Taiwan, April 16, 2015

In responding to climate change, Professor Karen Seto from Yale University declaring that, “for you to look within for innovative solutions and not to only look outside for innovative solutions” on April 16 gave a talk on Climate Change Mitigation at a panel discussion held by National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Tainan, Taiwan.

In her talk, Seto, Associate Dean of Research at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, who is also served as the coordinating lead author of Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), shared the latest insights on mitigation of climate change in urban areas.

“One of the things we found in the IPCC assessment is most of the literature on the issue ends up being from cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Shanghai, said Seto adding, “In the future we need to know more stories about cities like Tainan because most of the economic growth and many of the challenges will be faced by cities like Tainan.”

“Cities like Taipei, New York, they have a lot of people and resources. Cities like Tainan is very important that we don’t understand a lot what’s happening so I would say in the future we need to see and read a lot of literature and understand the results and how it could be learned from the places,” according to Seto.

NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su warmly welcomed professor Seto and other international and domestic guests, and said she had sentimental reasons to open the penal, “my research interests are in air quality and human health, and I consider myself as part of the community of climate change, so this occasion is like being among familiar friends for me.”

“Universities can function as a platform for knowledge and understanding in tackling climate change and link this to other stakeholders. We can then partner with federal and local governments in order to address the issues more effectively,” according to President Su.

Explaining the highlights from the report, Seto said, “The surface temperature on the globe has increased, especially in the last fifty years. We can also see that extreme climate events is on the rise and that the growth of emissions in the last decade is larger than in the previous decade”.

However, there are ways to ease the pain of the predicted climate change. In 2006, professor Seto was one of the academics who, after the release of the fourth IPCC report, brought forth the suggestion to deeper invest the potential of cities and urban settlements to mitigate climate change.

“In the past, IPCC chapters have focused on mitigation from a sector perspective,” Seto said and adding that urban areas and human settlements were analyzed in major sectors, like transport, buildings, industries, waste management, and agriculture. In fact, many of our mitigation strategies have focused on these sectors.

“But cities are different because they are the place where you have a confluence of all these sectors. Thinking about mitigation from an urban perspective allows you to develop integrated strategies that might provide more effective results than thinking about the individual sectors separately,” she noted.

Also, the results of studies in adaption of climate change in Tainan and Taijiang National Park were presented in the panel.

University of Manchester Professor Cecilia Wong shared experience from the UK and emphasized the main guideline in cross-sector transformation by saying, “Firstly, it is all about smart-thinking, rather than spending huge amounts of funds. Secondly, cross-sector also means cross-border.”

“As a planner, we have to get out of our comfort zone to work with other people, in other sectors and other disciplines,” said Wong, a professor of spatial planning.
Provider : News Center
Date : 2015.04.16
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