COP26: Bermuda’s green moment
Climate change is real. It’s happening. It’s getting worse.
The inconvenient truth is that small vulnerable islands such as Bermuda are the ones that are going to feel the brunt of the pain.
We have already begun witnessing the following:
• Stronger and more frequent hurricanes
• Changes in sea temperature, which will dramatically affect all aspects of our blue economy, including our fisherfolk
• Cliff erosion
• Increased flooding in low-lying areas
It is clear that climate change is already upon us.
It will also affect our reinsurance sector, which will have to pay out bigger and bigger claims as various eco-disasters impact its downstream client base.
The consequences for Bermuda and all small-island states are real, and we are the ones paying the price.
The COP26 summit taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, presents a unique opportunity for Bermuda and other small islands to tell our story to the world’s powers. Speaking as one, we will advocate for the big polluters to take responsibility for their actions and ensure that those who are adversely affected have support.
Of course, Bermuda is playing its role.
We are placing a massive emphasis on renewable energy with the development of the 6MW solar farm on the airport, funding solar on government buildings all across the island, and providing incentives for rooftop solar,
This includes the duty-free importation of solar panels and equipment.
In addition, we are working with Belco to promote long-term renewable energy, introducing electric buses, moving forward with a ban on single-use plastics, and introducing vertical farming initiatives that will help towards domestic food security.
At COP26, Bermuda has united with other Overseas Territories — Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks & Caicos and the British Virgin Islands.
The Overseas Territories, other Caricom nations, and small islands around the world will work together to ensure that the industrialised nations' polluters provide protections for those of us most at risk from climate change.
Bermuda, it is up to all of us to get serious about catastrophic climate change because if we don’t, future generations will suffer most.
• Lindsay Simmons is a government senator and the Junior Minister for Social Development and Seniors, and Home Affairs