Two of the island’s leading environmental advocates have touched upon a pair of unrealised promises made by the One Bermuda Alliance 4½ years ago, and offered their insight on the greatest issues facing the island that the next government must address.
In its 2012 platform, the One Bermuda Alliance pledged to “protect Bermuda’s fragile environment for future generations and present-day enjoyment”.
Among 25 stated priorities were to build on Bermuda’s white paper on energy, with the goal of generating at least 20 per cent of energy from renewable energy sources by 2026, reduce the cost of electricity by regulating the energy sector, and to incorporate environmental considerations into all government decision-making.
Jonathan Starling, with Greenrock, said the Government had mustered a “mixed bag” when it came to delivering on its promises.
While pleased with progress on initiatives such as the Electricity Act 2016, he said the organisation was dismayed and disappointed on other matters.
“We’re particularly disappointed about the Blue Halo concept being dropped and no alternative idea for the area really proposed,” Mr Starling said.
The project looked at turning a large portion of Bermuda’s Exclusive Economic Zone into a protected marine reserve.
While consultation on the proposal did take place, Mr Starling said the idea was effectively killed in late 2014.
“As far as we can tell [Government] has ceased to proceed with the continuing consultation and research that the Premier said was needed before making a decision on the issue,” he said.
The promise of opening the Southlands National Park has also failed to come to fruition.
Stuart Hayward, with the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, said the group was “disappointed” that the area had not been listed within the island’s national park system.