Greenrock against fossil fuels
Environmental group Greenrock has called for Belco to move away from fossil fuels, saying adoption of liquid natural gas was not a “viable compromise”.
In a statement, the charity acknowledged the need for Belco to upgrade its infrastructure, but added that with the reality of human induced climate change a different approach should be adopted.
“Bermuda — and the planet — is now at an energy crossroads,” the statement said. “To have some hope of minimising the effects of climate change, all countries must take steps to transition to a low carbon economy as soon as practicable. That includes us in Bermuda.
“This is the stark choice before us — actively transition away from fossil fuels and reduce the impact of climate change, or continue as we are with the consequent damage to our environment that will ensue.
“For Greenrock the choice is obvious — we have an ethical and existential need to transition away from fossil fuels. We do not consider Belco's LNG proposals as a viable compromise.”
Greenrock said that the extraction of LNG results in the release of methane, which it described as an “incredibly powerful greenhouse gas”, leading to an overall larger greenhouse gas footprint than coal or oil.
“To portray LNG as a low carbon fuel is to traffic in sleights of hand,” the statement continued. “Furthermore, LNG is increasingly dependent on fracking. Evidence from peer-reviewed scientific studies shows that fracking can lead to air pollution, ground and surface water contamination, radioactive releases, noise and light pollution, induced earthquakes, greenhouse gas emissions, occupational health and safety hazards and competition for access to water.
“While these problems may not manifest themselves in Bermuda, we have to ask ourselves if we want to have our hands dirtied by it.”
The charity called on Belco to replace existing generators with more efficient ones, providing the island time to transition from fossil fuels, while developing an aggressive plan to improve energy efficiency and energy conservation.
Greenrock also called for a national plan to support the adoption of renewable energy technology, adding: “The recent action to remove the support for solar panels was counterproductive in this way — we need to instead be actively supporting and subsidising these new technologies.”