Event Reports

Ethics, Climate Change and Energy

On November 27-28, 2014, the International Conference on “Ethics, Climate Change and Energy” took place in Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand. This event was co-organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), College of Religious Studies and Faculty of Environment and Resources Studies of Mahidol University and Qatar Red Crescent.

The event was opened by Asst. Prof. Dr. Suraki Nathisuwan, the Vice-President for International Relations, Mahidol University, Mr. Michael Winzer, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Representative in Thailand, and Dr. Mohammed bin Ghanem Al Ali Al Maadeed, the President of Qatar Red Crescent. The two day conference was highlighted with keynote speeches of Prof. Dr. Malcolm Wilson, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was co-awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the former US Vice-President, Albert Arnold Al Gore and Dr. Mohammed bin Ghanem Al Ali Al Maadeed, the President of Qatar Red Crescent, both stressed the importance of climate change mitigation and discussed its effects on human lives.

In addition, the two day conference was filled with very informative and interesting presentations of prominent guest speakers such as Prof. Dr. Osman Bakar, Universiti Brunei Darrussalam, Prof. Johan Elverskog at Southern Methodist University, Prof. Stefan Rothlin S.J. of International Business Ethics, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China and CEO of Rothlin CSR Management Consulting Ltd, Assoc. Prof. Sayam Aroonsrimorakot, Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand, Pr. Dr. Zhiwu Liang, Executive Director of Joint International Center for CO2 Capture and Storage (ICCS) and Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Human University, China, Mr. Engr Gurmit Singh, Chairman of Center for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia (CETDEM), Dr. Doddy S. Sukadri, Advisor to Indonesia National Council and Climate Change (NCCC), Ven. Santussika Bhikunni, co-founder, Karuna Buddhist Vihara (Compassion Monastery) and a board member for Buddhist Global Relief, Mountain View, CA. USA, Dr. Natarika Wayuparb, Deputy Executive Director, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO), and Ms. Supranee Runghirunviroj, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Thailand GEF Operational Focal Point. The conference was concluded by the panel discussion among Pro. Dr. Malcolm Wilson, Associate Professor Dr. Kampanad Bhaktikul, and Ven. Santussika Bhikunni that talked about visions for the future and conclusions of this international conference.

The current issue of climate change calls for changing the format of religious, educational and political landscape for the preservation of nature and humanity. The conference exposed participants and the public to ethics of Earth preservation, recent scientific findings on climate change and energy insecurity and the threat to lives that climate change brings with. In addition, it encouraged them to join the global efforts to mitigate this issue through practical means such as restrain their consumption of energy resources and bring greenhouse emission under control. Furthermore, this conference is important in the current economic and social developments of Thailand as it recently experienced disastrous floods. Thailand is one of the countries that will most likely be affected by the rise of the sea-level worldwide. Therefore, it is crucial for the government to implement new policies that mitigate climate change. The conference has attracted about 400 participants from academics, monks, scholars, scientists, and students and has been a successful event filled with fruitful discussions.