UWI alumnus, climate scientist Professor Michael Taylor of The UWI, Mona campus, has been named among the 2019 laureates for the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence. He has done outstanding work in the area of climate change, including being the lead author of The Global Warming of 1.5°C Report 1.5°C was officially released during the 48th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Incheon, Republic of Korea in October 2018. This Report caused a global recognition of the need to hold global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C throughout the 21st century for the survival of the Caribbean and other Small Island Developing States. This means that the entire world, especially the largest countries, would collectively need make an urgent switch from fossil fuels to renewables, ideally with the decarbonisation of the entire global electricity sector by 2050.
He has been the director of the Climate Studies Group, Mona (CSGM) since 2007 and has successfully positioned the CSGM as a centre of regional thought and expertise with respect to climate change science and the leading centre for coordinating regional climate-modelling efforts. Professor Taylor also serves on a number of national and regional boards and committees. He is a member of the Climate Change Advisory Board in Jamaica’s Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and served as a member of the Advisory Panel on Climate Change for the Ministry of Land, Water, Environment and Climate Change from 2012-2016.
Not surprisingly, Professor Taylor’s research, which has produced over 100 publications and garnered over US$20 million in research grants and funding for The UWI, has focused on determining the scientific impact of climate change in the Caribbean islands. His work has been invaluable in shaping the understanding of the region’s vulnerability to climate change; building Caribbean climate databases; developing climate tools, and improving our ability to predict Caribbean climate on seasonal timescales. These practical and timely solutions are celebrated at The UWI as the kinds of contributions that demonstrate the university’s close alignment with Caribbean needs, as set out in the 2017-2022 Triple A Strategy strategic plan.Extending congratulations and commenting on the announcement, Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said, “We are very pleased that Professor Taylor has joined the growing list of UWI experts who have received the prestigious award and congratulate him on his sterling contribution to the Caribbean. Our university has always taken responsibility for producing the solutions to the region’s problems. When our change champions are recognised outside of our walls it is a welcome salute; our people, however, are largely driven by our collective bid to become an increasingly activist university which is closely aligned to the needs of the region. This is what makes us most proud of Professor Taylor’s achievements.”
The UWI recognised Professor Michael Taylor’s valuable work when he was awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in 2013. This year, he was also among the Climate Studies Group at the Mona campus which received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in International Collaboration (Globalisation Award) for the Regional Climate Science Initiative Project.
Since 2005, the ANSA McAl Foundation has awarded outstanding contributors in the fields of arts and letters, entrepreneurship, public and civic contributions, and science and technology through the ANSA Caribbean Awards for Excellence.