The Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre launch ceremony was held at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 16 June in appreciation of the support of donor Guy Carpenter & Company.
The Centre, which will serve as the regional hub for climate research, aims to help countries and regions of the Asia-Pacific better understand climate-related threats, assess catastrophic risk and provide predictions on severe climatic events.
CityU is a pioneer in the research of typhoons and monsoons in the Asia-Pacific region. Building on its existing strengths and with the support of Guy Carpenter & Company, the Centre will ensure CityU cements its place as the leading regional authority on climate change studies.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU, thanked Guy Carpenter & Company for its generous donation. "It is partnership and support of this kind that has propelled the development of CityU over the years," Professor Kuo said.
"CityU has been actively engaged in applied research that responds to the needs of industry, commerce and the community and the Centre will strengthen our capabilities in this regard and ensure we provide this service for the potentially enormous benefit of the many millions of people in the region," he added.
"It is certainly exciting to witness CityU establishing this new climate impact centre for the betterment of the Asia Pacific Region," said Mr Britt Newhouse, Chairman of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC.
"As the world's premier catastrophe reinsurance broker, Guy Carpenter is pleased to contribute to fostering regional knowledge exchange in relation to climate-related perils. Along with the company's financial support to the Centre, we stand ready to devote our industry expertise in data assessment, catastrophe modelling and risk management techniques for the benefit of this region. I have every confidence that the Centre will spearhead climate research and innovation strategies that will help society and lead the region forward," Mr Newhouse said.
Professor (Chair) Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice-President (Research) of CityU, said the University aims to create a vibrant research culture that builds on the synergy of intellectual curiosity and application-driven efforts. "Our pursuit of knowledge is resulting in ingenious inventions that solve practical problems, set new standards, and improve our quality of life. Our accomplishments testify to the University's determination to address the needs of Hong Kong and the region through applied research."
The Centre will be led by Professor (Chair) Johnny Chan Chung-leung, from the Department of Physics and Materials Science at CityU, and among the core members are Professor Li Chongyin and Professor Huang Ronghui, both academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and honorary professors of the department.
Climate change is of increasing concern worldwide and the research activities of the Centre will encapsulate monsoons over China, tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific and the possible effects on climate caused by global warming. The Centre will also develop methods for climate forecasting and the assessment of various climatic risks.
Professor Chan said a focus of their research would be south China, especially the Pearl River Delta, as climate change could affect agricultural production, energy consumption and water resources.
"It is hoped that with better understanding and predictions of climate change, governments in the region will be able to better prepare for disasters," Professor Chan said.
He added that the Centre would collaborate with climate-related research centres and authorities locally, on the mainland and within the region to enhance their research profile and output.