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Bloomberg calls for greater renewable energy use

The optics are good: David Burt, the Premier, and former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, at the Climate Risk Forum at the Hamilton Princess Hotel yesterday

Billionaire businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that Bermuda should generate more renewable electricity to show its commitment to the battle against climate change.Mr Bloomberg told a Climate Risk Forum: “Generating your own electricity is good economics — the optics are good as well.Mr Bloomberg explained: “You should be able to generate a lot of solar power locally because you are so far south and you have a lot of wind here. The most important thing for Bermuda is that business people think the Government is honest and efficient.”Mr Bloomberg, who owns a home in Bermuda, was speaking after questions from David Burt, the Premier, at the opening of the Climate Risk Forum at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club yesterday. The Premier asked how the Government could create public-private partnerships to work more closely with business to spotlight the dangers of climate change.Mr Burt also highlighted the Government’s commitment to generate 85 per cent of the island’s electricity supply by 2035.He said: “From our perspective, with our integrated resource plan, we have some of the most aggressive renewable targets in the world.”Mr Burt added he wanted to work with insurance companies to help fund the installation of solar panels.He said that island long-term insurers wanted to “assist us in funding solar on houses because they can see a longer-term return without a difficult interest rate environment”. Mr Burt added: “That is something we are looking to build on to make sure we can build that capacity — clearly Bermuda has a role to play.”He said that work such as the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences’ analysis of climate risk meant the country was “poised to become a centre of excellence when it comes to driving the climate conversation”.