Protesters: there is no Planet B
Environmentalists protested outside the House of Assembly yesterday in a bid to highlight the need for action on climate change and pollution.
More than 40 people gathered outside the House at lunchtime carrying placards with slogans such as “People over Profit”, “There is no Planet B” and “If not now, then when?”.
Eugene Dean, the chairman of environmental charity Greenrock, said it was expected the protests would be a regular event.
He added: “The young people here are making a statement. The commitment is to have these rallies on a monthly basis until we see action from the Government.
“We can continue to raise awareness, which we will do, but the reality is we will need legislative change to make the kind of impact that is required.”
He said the demonstrators wanted the Government to come up with a plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, ban single-use plastics and declare a climate state of emergency.
Mr Dean said: “Countries around the world have done that. For most people, they think climate change is something we can attend to when we have the time for it.
“The reality is our house is on fire, and we have to deal with it like that.
“We need a sense of urgency around any initiatives to address climate change.”
Jamahl Simmons, the Minister without Portfolio, and other MPs spoke to the protesters when the House of Assembly rose for lunch.
Mr Simmons said the Government had heard the concerns of the demonstrators and that action was being taken.
But he warned that progress could be slow. Mr Simmons said: “It takes time, but we do take note of your message.”
Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, said: “I encourage and welcome an open dialogue regarding sustainability and the preservation of our island and world.
“This was a show of democracy at work, and I will continue to foster an inclusive and transparent process around what the Ministry of Home Affairs is doing to address the concerns laid out today, and previously.”
He added: “I too, am personally invested in seeing a more sustainable Bermuda come to fruition and will continue to advance various initiatives and projects within this ministry to ensure this becomes a reality.”
Mr Roban highlighted a series of government projects including the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Project and plans to eliminate single-use plastics, combat invasive species and conserve Bermuda’s natural resources.
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