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YTL Corporation launches Climate Change Week 2010 with Eco Heaven

Ruth Yeoh at the book launch of 'Billy the Plastic Bag' together with Gabriel and Raphaelle Tseng.

Kuala Lumpur – Saturday, 19 June 2010  

YTL today kicked-start Climate Change Week 2010, in the heart of KL City, transforming Lot 10 Shopping Centre into an “Eco Heaven” with a showcase of creative reinventions of various used and recycle materials. Setting an example for its theme “Sustainable Living in the City”, Climate Change Week 2010 seeks to inspire Malaysians via a series of exciting and thought-provoking eco activities that will be held from June 19-27 in Lot 10 Shopping Centre, to show Malaysians how easy it is to go green.   

Speaking at the launch, Ruth Yeoh, YTL’s Director of Investments said, “Since we started Climate Change Week in 2007, what has been the most fulfilling is seeing the tremendous increase in environmental consciousness amongst Malaysian, where climate change today has grown into a mainstream concern of the country and its people.” 

But yet, we are still at a point in time which Scientists have termed ‘ecological overshoot’, using and wasting more resources than our planet can sustain or produce. To put it into perspective, in 2005 this annual overshoot accrued into an ecological debt that exceeded 2.5 years of Earth’s total productivity. 

And today, moderate United Nations scenarios suggest that if the world’s current population and consumption trends continue, by the middle of the next decade we will need an equivalent of two Earths to support us.”   

Emphasising on the need for individual action, Ruth further added, “There is no doubt in my mind that individuals are in fact the ones who hold the key to mankind’s breakthrough against climate change. If we look back at history, the greatest social transformations - the end of slavery, the abolishment of apartheid, the end of colonisation, the women’s rights and civil rights movements - all began with public awareness, then engagement. Those movements were led by scientists, thinkers, concerned individuals and young people. They led, and governments followed.”    

To start the week, Climate Change Week Eco Heaven, a one day eco bazaar featured more than 20 vendors, served as a platform to inspire Malaysians to reduce, reuse, recycle through creative reinventions of unwanted materials.     

In conjunction with the event, YTL also engaged artist Philip Wong of ArtSeni Gallery, who designed a series of Eco Sculptures, made from recyclables and placed in and around Lot 10. The sculptures, which include a colourful garden, trees and a giant plastic bag, were made completely from newspapers, plastic bottles and used carton boxes.

The largest sculpture, a giant plastic bag, based upon the book Billy the Plastic Bag by 14 year old Gabriel and his 11 year old sister Raphaelle Tseng, was the highlight of the launch event. With aims to educate young children on the harmful effects of plastic bags to the environment, the book was sponsored by YTL as part of its continuous effort to educate our children on environmental protection from a young age.   

Spreading its efforts to involve the younger generation, the Climate Change Week Kids for Earth Workshop was held to instill green habits in school-going children, by providing them tools they can use in the school environment and beyond. This free, interactive workshop was attended by more than 40 children from primary schools around the Klang Valley.   

A series of Sustainable Living Demonstrations were held to further inspire Malaysians to take action against the global threat of climate change. The demonstrations which included low energy cooking; compost making; enzyme as natural cleaning agents; and organic farming; can all be easily emulated at home.   

Other Climate Change Week activities for the week will include:

·         The Official Launch of the National Geographic Store

      Marking National Geographic’s third store worldwide, this newly opened store in Lot 10 will place Malaysia on the global map after London and Singapore.

 

·         YTL Fellowship for a Rare Planet

     The Fellowship will be set up with a USD 2 million grant to Rare, whose grassroots conservation programmes span across 50 countries around the world. One of the identified projects that it will fund is the Tun Mustapha Marine Park in Sabah, where efforts are underway to gazette this marine protected area as well as reverse the effects of overfishing that is threatening its local economic lifelines and eco tourism.

 

·         Climate Change Week Eco Tips videos.

With the help of Director/ Producer Sheikh Munasar aka Moon, a series of videos were produced where home-grown celebrity greenie Maya Karin shares with Malaysians some personal tips for sustainable living in the city. Motivating Malaysians to take action, a contest will be launched inviting them to share their very own eco tips, and stand a chance to win some fabulous prizes sponsored by HTC. Working with media partner Bernama TV, the Climate Change Week Eco Tips will be aired on the TV channel from 23 – 27 June 2010.  

 

Climate Change Week is part of YTL’s long-standing involvement and commitment to environmental protection, designed to raise the level of environmental consciousness amongst Malaysians, via a week of exciting and thought-provoking programmes and activities. 

 

For more information on Climate Change Week 2010, please visit www.ytlcommunity.com/climatechange 


Ruth Yeoh with kids from SK Bukit Jalil

YTL Corporation Berhad
Launch of Climate Change Week 2010
Main Concourse, Lot 10 Shopping Centre
Saturday, 19 June 2010

Speech by Ruth Yeoh Director of Investments, YTL Corporation Berhad

Good afternoon:
- Distinguished Guests
- Friends from the Media
- Ladies and Gentlemen

Welcome to Climate Change Week 2010. 

It is both an honour and a privilege to meet you all today, and thank you for joining us at the fourth instalment of YTL’s annual education outreach programme for the environment. 

It has indeed been a rewarding journey for us since we started Climate Change Week in 2007, and I am personally proud of how far we have come in educating the nation on the importance of climate change mitigation and environmental protection. 

Our Highlights in our previous campaigns have included:

  • Free screenings of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The 11th Hour” movies;
  • Book launches – including “Cut Carbon, Grow Profits”, which I had the privilege of co-editing and “WASTEnomics: Turning Waste Liabilities into Assets”;
  • Green business strategy conferences;
  • Youth Workshops and the YTL Green Ribbon Award to help schools run sustainable programmes for their students;
  • A Charity Gala that raised RM700,000 towards the protection of our coral reefs, promoting neighbourhood recycling centres, and long-term forest and wildlife conservation programmes for the Belum-Temengor forest reserves
  • And just last year, we partnered National Geographic Channel to present Malaysians with TV series “Strange Days on Planet Earth”, hosted by popular Hollywood Actor and Environmentalist Ed Norton. 

Much has certainly been achieved to involve Malaysians in the fight against one of the biggest threats the Earth has known. As a Group, we have also been busy working with partners who use clean technology, educating our employees, investing in more efficient processes and systems, increasing our investments in renewable energy, and growing our carbon credit consultancy. 

But perhaps what has been the most fulfilling is seeing the tremendous increase in environmental consciousness amongst Malaysians, where climate change today has grown into a mainstream concern of the country and its people. 

Yet, we are still at a point in time which Scientists have termed ‘ecological overshoot’, using and wasting more resources than our planet can sustain or produce. To put it into perspective, in 2005 this annual overshoot accrued into an ecological debt that exceeded 2.5 years of the Earth’s total productivity.

And today, moderate United Nations scenarios suggest that if the world’s current population and consumption trends continue, by the middle of the next decade we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.

But if awareness levels are on the rise, shouldn’t it translate to a more manageable issue?  

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert attempts to explain it when he said, “Global warming is a deadly threat precisely because it fails to trip the brain’s alarm, leaving us sound asleep on a burning bed.” 

As environmentalists despair that global warming is happening so fast, Daniel Gilbert laments the reason the majority of humanity fail to react is because it’s not happening fast enough. Not fast enough to trigger the same mechanism in our brain that tells us to duck when a ball comes flying at us or when a car comes crashing into us. 

Personally, ladies and gentlemen, not fast enough doesn’t mean it’s all bad news. The good news is that there is still time to take action. And there is no doubt in my mind that individuals are in fact the ones who hold the key to mankind’s breakthrough against climate change. If we look back at history, the greatest social transformations - the end of slavery, the abolishment of apartheid, the end of colonisation, the women’s rights and civil rights movements - all began with public awareness, then engagement. Those movements were led by scientists, thinkers, concerned individuals and young people. They led, and governments followed. 

Hence, we decided to take a different approach for Climate Change Week this year, by choosing to engage with Malaysians on the topic of Sustainable Living in the City. 

Through the various activities that we have put together for the week, we want to show Malaysians how easy it is to go green, and guide them towards taking individual action. And the perfect spot to host all Climate Change Week activities is, of course, our very own Lot 10 Shopping Centre which recently incorporated a “Forest in the City”.

So, ladies and gentlemen, the week begins today, with Climate Change Week Eco Heaven; more than just a bazaar, it’s a window to new and practical ideas, setting a perfect example for sustainable living in the city. It’s a nod to our pragmatic forefathers who understood the true value of everyday things; where worn clothes were turned into quilts and rainy days provided water to clean their cars. 

Joining us today are more than 20 passionate groups who have set up their booths just behind you, to share how they have given things a second life. On that note, I would like to personally extend my appreciation to them for coming out today, to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

And to help us spread this message further, our good friend and artist Philip Wong has kindly designed the Climate Change Week series of Eco Sculptures, made from recyclables and placed in and around Lot 10. A big thank you to you, Brother Philip! 

To further inspire Malaysians, we also arranged for a series of Sustainable Living Demonstrations held right here in this concourse earlier, which shares ideas on low energy cooking; compost making; enzyme as natural cleaning agents; and organic farming ideas, all of which can be easily emulated at home.  

Our effort of involving the younger generation continued this morning with the Climate Change Week Kids for Earth Workshop. This free, interactive workshop was attended by more than 40 children from primary schools around the Klang Valley, providing them the tools to practise green thinking and habits in the school environment and beyond.

The same children who conducted this morning’s workshop (yes you heard right, they’re kids) – 14 year old Gabriel and his 11 year old sister Raphaelle Tseng, who are here with us today, have also published a book called Billy the Plastic Bag, which we will launch shortly. Through their eyes, they aim to reach out to other young children on the harmful effects of plastic bags to the environment.      

Lending more significance to our event this year is the Official Launch of the National Geographic Store. This marks National Geographic’s third store worldwide, putting Malaysia on the global map after London and Singapore.

Continuing our support of community driven programmes, my family and I will soon launch the YTL Fellowship for a Rare Planet, where we will be making a significant contribution to Rare, one of the most respected global grassroots conservation movements, to drive their efforts of helping communities protect natural resources – for their own benefit and for the benefit of the world. 

Finally, Climate Change Week 2010 will end with the launch of our Eco Tips videos. With the help of Director and Producer Sheikh Munasar aka Moon, we have produced three videos where home-grown celebrity greenie Maya Karin will share with Malaysians some personal tips for sustainable living in the city. Together with Bernama TV, our media partner, we will launch a contest for a fourth video, inviting Malaysians to submit their own eco tips, and the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes sponsored by HTC.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I’d like to end with a quote – The first and most important reason, of which we need to remind ourselves daily, is this: the earth, in all of its diversity, is the Lord's (Psalm 24:1).

And as a steward of our good earth, our long-time involvement in the protection of our precious environment has taught us that the fight against global warming is a long term effort that requires continuous participation and commitment.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you in advance for your support, and help to spread the news about our Climate Change Week events. You can also visit our website www.ytlcommunity.com/climatechange for more information. 

I’d like to thank our partners and friends helping us with our activities today, and to our friends in the Media, thank you for being here today. I am truly grateful because all of you are, without a doubt, instrumental in spreading the word about climate change to Malaysians nationwide.   

Once again, thank you for all your kind support and may God bless each and every one of you. 

 





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