Climate change key theme of prize

Updated: 2017-05-26 06:02

By Joseph Li in Hong Kong(HK Edition)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Lui Che Woo Prize committee head explains his reasons for prioritizing this global concern

The Lui Che Woo Prize for World Civilization is unique in that it does not only award people with academic achievements but those making remarkable contributions to the human civilization, the prize's chief recommendation maker said.

Speaking to China Daily in an exclusive interview, Professor Lawrence Lau Juen-yee - chairman of the Prize Recommendation Committee of the Lui Che Woo Prize - said last year's awardees were well received and he had not heard anything negative, or anybody saying that they did not deserve the awards.

Despite being just in its second year, the Lui prize is well-received and has international recognition; it is compared with other longstanding international awards such as the Nobel Prize.

Inaugurated last year, the Lui prize gave its first-ever awards to people making significant contributions to the areas of sustainable development of the world, improving people's welfare and those with a positive life attitude.

Climate change key theme of prize

Lau, a renowned economist and former vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, hailed the Lui prize as a very worthwhile project. Lau said he shared the vision of founder Lui Che-woo, founder and chairman of K Wah International Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment Group, to establish this international prize and make it a permanent and annual event.

Lau said the Prize Recommendation Committee had worked out the areas the three prize categories would focus on this year, namely: Climate change, poverty alleviation and promotion of harmony among diverse groups.

Unlike the Nobel Prize, the Lui Prize is not restricted to academics or professionals, he said. It is open to people from all walks of life as long as they have made truly distinguished contributions to the designated areas. There is also the additional requirement that the person must be alive at the time of the award.

He made it clear that climate change is a very important global issue which warrants serious concern; moreover universal efforts are needed to check global warming. He also lamented that global warming is a result of man-made, not natural, causes.

Lau said: "Curbing climate change is an extremely important task because it is not easily reversible. If the globe gets warmer or hotter, some places will become deserts, they cannot be inhabited and we can't grow anything. The (North) polar ice cap and Antarctic ice sheet will melt."

He also warned that the sea level would rise and so coastal cities like Shanghai and San Francisco would be submerged, while low-lying countries such as Bangladesh and the Netherlands could be gone.

"Unfortunately, the Paris Agreement that aims to cap carbon emissions and limit the temperature rise to 2 C by 2030 is a relatively minor objective. It is a very serious matter that affects everybody. We need global efforts to prevent the earth from becoming too warm too soon," Lau added

He said it was not necessarily a scientist, doctor or an ordinary person who would win the climate change control prize this year. Any person who comes up with good plans and makes sustainable contributions to tackle global warming can win the award.

 Climate change key theme of prize

Professor Lawrence Lau Juen-yee, chairman of the Prize Recommendation Committee of the Lui Che Woo Prize, hailed the award as very worthwhile and said he shared the vision of the founder, who is also chairman of K Wah International Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment Group. Parker Zheng / China Daily

(HK Edition 05/26/2017 page6)