Professor Ir Dr Dominic Foo was interviewed by Ai FM, a national Chinese radio station operated by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), on 9 October 2020 to discuss the topic of “Climate Change and CO2 emissions”.
When asked to provide examples on climate change effect, Professor Foo spoke about the extreme weather in different parts of the world, including Malaysia. He quoted the examples of the sudden floods in Kuala Lumpur that happened in September, and the prolonged draught season in Malaysia and serious floods in east coast back in 2014.
When asked about climate change and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Professor Foo mentioned that the safe boundary of CO2 concentration for planet earth should be kept at 350 ppm, as proposed by some scientists previously. However, he said that CO2 concentration has exceeded 400 ppm in the year 2014. In the year 2020, the highest CO2 concentration recorded was 417 ppm in May 2020. The immediate effect of high CO2 concentration is the melting of ice from glaciers and ice caps, which will eventually lead to a rise in the sea levels.
When asked about what government can do in battling climate change, Professor Foo spoke about the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 that was held in Paris. The main outcome of the conference was to keep the global temperature from rising 2 degrees C, and pursuing efforts in limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C. Malaysia has voluntarily pledged to cut its emission intensity per unit of GDP by 45% by the year 2030, compared to the levels in 2005.
Professor Foo also talked about renewable energy. While it is seen as a potential solution for long term, each type of renewable energy has its limitation. For instance, solar power can be useful in a country such as Malaysia. However, the existence of clouds greatly affects the power generation by solar cells in Malaysia. Hydropower on the other hand, requires a huge area of land. Hence, systematic planning is needed so that these methods can slowly replace the use of fossil fuel in the long term.
The recorded lecture is available on the Facebook page of Ai FM.
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Posted on 27th October 2020