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Bermuda in position to pressure companies over green policies, says Canadian diplomat

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The electric buses that have come from the Golden Dragon Bus Company in China. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda can use its position as an insurance industry hub to push for better environmental policies, the Acting Consul-General of Canada in New York said.

André Frenette said that Bermuda, through insurance companies, could urge powerful companies to cut down on pollution and use their money to protect the environment.

He said: “It does makes sense to apply pressure on companies who are polluters.

“They will pay more for their insurance, and in fact some companies may choose not to insure at all. That idea, I think, is something that can work for Bermuda.”

André Frenette, Canada’s Acting Consul-General in New York (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Frenette was speaking during a three-day visit to Bermuda this week aimed at gauging how relations with the island could be improved.

Bermuda and Canada shared many environmental goals, he said, and the two countries were “leading the way” when it came to transitioning towards a green economy.

He said that, because of this, the countries could benefit from helping each other achieve their environmental goals.

One method, according to Mr Frenette, could involve the two countries sharing information regarding issues such as marine research.

“We’ve talked about possible collaboration between marine institutions here in Bermuda and on the East Coast of Canada.

“We do have research facilities on these issues, and of course climate change must certainly be a part of that research.

“Is there a possibility for our institutions to be collaborating and, at the very least, exchanging best practices?

“I think yes, especially in a place like Bermuda where you’re really leading the charge and showing leadership in this regard.”

Mr Frenette also encouraged Bermuda to buy Canadian-made electric vehicles and vehicle parts, which he said would be affordable and beneficial for both countries.

“You should be looking at us,” said Mr Frenette. “The Government here has ambitious climate plans that are very well aligned with where the Trudeau Government is having its own conversations in terms of climate leadership.

“Instead of looking across the planet to get the solutions that you’re looking for, remember that Canada has them.”

Mr Frenette added: “You need critical minerals that are going to go into those cars — and we have all of those critical minerals in Canada.”

He said Canada was the only country in the northern hemisphere that has all the critical minerals necessary to build batteries for electric vehicles.

Mr Frenette said that electric vehicle parts were a growing export for his country, and that trade could help with Bermuda’s plan to phase out gas vehicles by 2035.

Since last November, Bermuda has introduced 30 electric buses purchased from the Chinese company Golden Dragon.

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Published January 28, 2023 at 7:53 am (Updated January 28, 2023 at 7:53 am)

Bermuda in position to pressure companies over green policies, says Canadian diplomat

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