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Roban to attend Turks and Caicos climate change meeting

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Work to make Bermuda more sustainable will be highlighted by the Minister of Home Affairs at two conferences this month, a Government spokesman said.

Walter Roban will represent the island at a Climate Change Summit from April 21 to 22 in the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum in Miami from April 26 to 28.

A ministry spokesman said: “At these events, the minister will highlight the many environmental, energy and conservation initiatives and programmes undertaken by the island to ensure a more sustainable Bermuda.

“Leading up to these two significant conferences, the ministry will remind our community home about the critical steps being taken to preserve our natural resources.”

He highlighted that the Department of Energy, working with the Regulatory Authority, will manage efforts to set up an energy regulatory sandbox.

The spokesman added: “This work will allow the ministry to table legislation to introduce an energy regulatory sandbox that will encourage new renewable energy technology developers to test their products in Bermuda.

“Additionally, through the Department of Energy, the Ministry of Home Affairs is working to introduce a Green Energy Environmental Justice Fund to provide capital to deploy solar installations throughout the island.

“Our goal is to see increased investment in Bermuda, particularly in the energy sector.

“We are working with the RA to identify potential sites for utility-scale solar island wide that are consistent with the goals of the Integrated Resource Plan.

“And as a top priority, the elimination of single-use plastics remains a critical matter given the interrelated issues of plastics, climate change, ocean pollution and human health.”

The spokesman highlighted that, after public consultation on a draft policy document last year, further talks are planned with retailers, grocers and importers “to determine how to implement realistic, financially viable solutions”.

He said: “Following this, we will analyse all the feedback provided in preparation for drafting the necessary legislation.

“Also, Bermuda became the first overseas territory to join Blue Shield, introducing technological solutions to enhance marine protection and enforcement of our waters.”

A marine development plan was said to be a “top priority”.

The spokesman said that a “new and expanded” study to understand the impacts of rising sea levels and changing storm activity was “an urgent first step in the fight against climate change”.

Activities this month will include Earth Day on April 22, when it is hoped that residents will take part “to aid in their environmental awareness”.

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Published April 19, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated April 19, 2022 at 7:58 am)

Roban to attend Turks and Caicos climate change meeting

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