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Roban tells young people he is ‘passionate’ about environment

The future’s green: Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, speaks at last week’s Youth Climate Summit (Photograph supplied)

The Minister of Home Affairs has trumpeted the Government’s green credentials, claiming that policies are being pushed through to protect the environment on land, sea and air.

Walter Roban told attendees at last week’s Bermuda Youth Climate Summit that he was “passionate” about this issue.

But he stressed that protectionist initiatives needed to be balanced with policies that would develop the economy.

He said that reducing single-use plastics was a government priority and that his ministry had had extensive consultations with the public as well as groups such as retailers and the hospitality industry who could be adversely affected by a ban.

"From the feedback received, a large majority, some three quarters of the respondents, support the policy to regulate single-use plastics in Bermuda.

"And so, using a phased approach, the Government will introduce a Bill to reduce single-use plastics beginning in the coming months.

"While the aim is to improve the environment and human health, we are aware of the need to avoid any adverse economic effects by ensuring the phase-out periods are realistic, clearly communicating the requirements, making allowances for some single-use plastic items that do not currently have alternatives, and allowing exemptions for medical and other uses.“

Mr Roban added that educational campaigns “will support the behavioural changes required from all of us”.

He also said that clean air legislation — now 30 years old — will be updated in the next 12 months.

He said: “Our understanding of how air contaminants affect our health has grown significantly, and air-quality standards in other jurisdictions have become more stringent.

"In the coming months, Bermuda's air-quality standards will be in line with the UK and EU, using the latest health and safety data on the exposure of air contaminants to humans.“

Turning to the marine environment, Mr Roban said that the Government was fine-tuning its Draft Blue Prosperity Plan, which will shape economic and environmental policy around Bermuda’s waters.

"You may have heard of the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan and the ongoing consultation by the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme.

He said: "In support of this, we are creating the Marine Development Act, which will provide the framework for managing the Marine Spatial Plan and introducing the Blue Economy Fund.“

Mr Roban also highlighted a green energy fund will help families to install solar panels in their homes

He told his young audience: "As the future leaders of Bermuda, it is vital that you are knowledgeable and have a say in the path we choose.

“I am confident that the successful implementation of these initiatives will create economic opportunities, improve living standards and, most importantly, protect and preserve our environment for future generations.

“Because, as the saying goes, we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

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Published December 02, 2022 at 7:52 am (Updated December 02, 2022 at 7:52 am)

Roban tells young people he is ‘passionate’ about environment

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