Agreement on environmental protection
Election candidates at a youth forum answered the call to ensure environmental protection.
Desmond Crockwell, of the Free Democratic Movement, and Jason Hayward, of the Progressive Labour Party, both pledged to look into sustainable initiatives to slow the impact of climate change.
Mr Crockwell said that it was imperative to push green personal habits such as recycling and limiting individual carbon emissions.
He added: “A lot of this has to do with our way of living, like the use of gas and diesel engines — a lot of things that we can now move away from.
“I think there are advancements in technology that can allow us to get away from the traditional ways of living and I think that using renewable energy is a part of moving forward.”
Mr Crockwell was speaking at the first pre-election Youth Forum last Tuesday.
Mr Crockwell, who is running in Hamilton East, said that he wanted to look at diversification of energy production, particularly solar energy.
He added that solar panels should be fitted to as many buildings as possible, particularly government buildings.
Mr Crockwell added that these panels could be made more affordable for homeowners through partnerships with companies that created them.
He also said: “I personally have relationships with some of the owners of these solar companies and I think that they are more than willing to work with residents because they understand the importance of solar energy.”
Mr Crockwell said that pushing sustainable habits would require proper marketing and other forms of social awareness.
He admitted that Bermuda played a small part in the global scheme of restoring the environment and would not have as big of a global impact as other countries.
But he added that it was important for us to do everything we could to protect our island.
Mr Crockwell said: “There's so many things that we can physically do ourselves.”
The forum, held online on the Zoom app and streamed over social-media platforms, was designed to help young voters learn more about the platforms of the parties.
The event was set up by Bermuda Youth Connect, an organisation launched to help bridge the gap between the young and political leaders.
Mr Hayward, the PLP MP for Pembroke Central, said that he wanted to ensure environmental sustainability by working towards “short-term goals that lead to long-term positive results”.
He also wanted to promote environmentally friendly forms of labour, such as sustainable agriculture.
Mr Hayward said: “Climate change is a big part of us having a sustainable future and so one of the things as a worker's advocate that we advocate for is a system of sustainable future and what that can look like.”
He added that he would examine what could be done to reduce the amount of single-use plastics, as well as water and air pollution.
Mr Hayward said that it was the duty of the Government to move the country towards the use of clean energy sources and sustainable practices such as monitoring the consumption of resources and limiting waste output.
Mr Hayward said that recycling was a big part of the drive to sustainability.
He admitted: “I know that we attempted to do a recycling plan in Bermuda and that hasn't really picked up the way in which we would expect the community to rally around something that ultimately would have a positive impact on the neighbourhood and their wellbeing.”
Mr Hayward added: “Different elements will require different strategies, but overall what we have to look at is what are the simple steps we can take as individuals, then what steps we can take as a community and what steps we can take as a country.”
The One Bermuda Alliance election platform said that the party would position the island as a “world green centre” by promoting the island as a global leader in marine studies and climate change movements.
It added that the party, if elected, would work with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and create a think-tank and annual conferences to boost the island's green credentials.
The platform said that the party would create policies to support green initiatives such as prosecution of people who broke environmental laws and the reduction and eventual elimination of single-use plastics.
It added that the party would use the transition to green technologies to create job opportunities and new markets. A fish market would also be created to assist fishermen with sales.
The OBA said that it would also work with farmers and the public to boost on-island food production through tax incentives and the promotion of home farms.