UWI Professor Michael Taylor named one of the 100 Most Influential Academics in Politics
Professor Michael Taylor, University of the West Indies, (UWI) Mona Campus’ Professor of Climate Science, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology and a world-renowned expert in climate science has been named among the 100 most influential academics in the government of Apolitics.
This list, according to Apolitique, “highlights work that has influenced the policy-making process by providing information on policy issues, contributing innovative ideas and solutions, or adding relevant and informative data. Apolitique also noted that every candidate on this list is “committed to improving the work of government and that their research has already had an impact.”
Each year, Apolitics recognizes academics working in important policy areas that are the focus of governments around the world and which by their very nature often present and even require intergovernmental collaboration. Areas selected this year included climate and sustainability, the area for which Professor Taylor is known; Recovery from COVID-19; Jobs and skills; Social policy; and policy development processes and approaches.
Speaking on the recent announcement, Prof Taylor said: “I am grateful to have been nominated and deeply touched to have been selected for inclusion. I see it more than an individual honor but rather a shared honor, for it is an honor to which the Caribbean intellectual community and the UWI in particular have contributed. I am just the representative of the many Caribbean academics who through their hard work strive to make an impact and a difference for the better.
Professor Taylor was the lead coordinating author of the special report on 1.5 degrees produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC report followed the Caribbean’s “1.5 to Stay Alive” campaign which drew on UWI’s climate change research and modeling. The campaign is credited with mobilizing the global effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels to minimize the catastrophic effects of climate change. Professor Taylor’s research has received worldwide recognition, positioning UWI to be selected by the International Association of Universities (IAU) to lead the mobilization of research and advocacy as the world moves towards a “smart world in the face of weather”. Professor Taylor’s leadership in this area has been instrumental in UWI as the head of the United Nations Global University Consortium on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action, as well as in the role of Head of file from UWI into a specialized network known as the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network. (CCRN) – established by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and other similar associations.
Professor Taylor is also Co-Director of the Climate Studies Group, Mona (CSGM), which he has successfully positioned as a center of regional reflection and expertise in climate change science and as a primary center for coordination regional climate modeling efforts.
UWI is proud to make scientific research to fight climate change a top priority and to attract the best scientific researchers who have sounded the alarm bells on the climate crisis for more than five decades. Thirteen scientists from UWI contributed to the Sixth Assessment Round of the IPCC to produce the three-volume global assessment report, known as the “Sixth Report” and “Three Special Reports”, which were presented to the COP26, held this year in Glasgow, Scotland, United States. Kingdom. Professor Taylor described COP26 as a “politically important moment”. He underscored the importance of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which states that “global warming of 1.5 ° C and 2 ° C will be exceeded in the 21st century, unless significant reductions in CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases will only occur in the decades to come. . Professor Taylor warned that heading towards 2 ° C is too much for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like the Caribbean, noting that even at 1.5 ° C, ‘we only have half a chance a livable future.
Reacting to the announcement from Professional Vice Chancellor and UWI Campus Director Mona, Professor Dale Webber said: “As scientists, we know that research and the results that flow from it can change the world. Professor Taylor being named one of the most influential academics is not a big surprise to me as he has always been ahead of his time and very strategic in his approach to climate science. He has always focused on practical, impactful and achievable goals in our global response to climate change, which is evident from his work with the IPCC and the climate study group he leads here at Mona. It is a moment of great pride for us as a campus and as a regional university. “
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