Greenrock’s Hopes For The Throne Speech

November 6, 2015

Greenrock said they looks forward to next week’s Throne Speech with “great optimism,” and said they would like to see a beverage container deposit bill, a ban on helium-filled mylar balloons, legislation introducing a mandatory minimum charge for all disposable single-use shopping bags and acommitment to establish a marine reserve in advance of the America’s Cup.

The full statement from Greenrock is below:

Greenrock looks forward to next week’s Throne Speech with great optimism following the recent America’s Cup events.

These featured a number of initiatives that Greenrock supports:

  • The emphasis on ‘green boating ethics’;
  • Prohibition of single-use plastic beverage bottles and cups;
  • The use of environmentally friendly packaging such as ‘biodegradable cups, bamboo cutlery and re-useable cloth bags’;
  • A ban on plastic straws, lids and beverage stir sticks, a ban on plastic cutlery, Styrofoam, plastic takeout containers and plastic bags;
  • A ban on balloons.

All of this contributes to a healthier marine environment, as well as reduces the total ecological footprint of the event. We certainly encourage the Government to continue with these initiatives going forward with the America’s Cup, and we take note of the Principles of Sustainable Events developed by the UN Environment Programme.

We encourage Government to adopt these principles for all public events:

  • Accessible and inclusive setting for all;
  • Safe and secure atmosphere;
  • Minimal negative impacts on the environment;
  • Encourages healthy living;
  • Promotes responsible sources;
  • Leaves a positive legacy;
  • Delivers excellent customer experience;
  • Encourages more sustainable behaviour.

Greenrock supports the ambition of the 2017 America’s Cup being the greenest ever, and strongly believes that this event can serve as a catalyst for a ‘green legacy’ that changes attitudes towards sustainability, and contributes to overall ecological, social and economic sustainability long after the America’s Cup.

As such we would like to see:

  • A beverage container deposit bill – a ‘bottle bill’. We believe the evidence strongly supports that such bills encourage greater rates of recycling, which both increases the efficiencies of our waste management, and contributes to our islands beauty and public health.
  • A ban on helium-filled mylar balloons, which are known to pose a serious threat to marine life who mistakenly ingest balloons confusing them with prey.
  • Legislation introducing a mandatory minimum charge for all disposable [single-use] shopping bags. Wales has reported a 71% reduction in plastic bag use since introducing similar legislation and Scotland has seen an 80%. This policy works.
  • A commitment to establish a marine reserve in advance of the America’s Cup.

There is a pressing need for a stronger emphasis on climate change – a climate change focus should be central to Government’s focus.

We support:

  • A statutory requirement to regular measure and publicly report our Greenhouse Gas [GHG] emissions footprint;
  • Statutory targets for reducing our GHG footprint [including renewable energy targets]
  • A more sustainable transport plan;
  • A national strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change – likely to include impacts on low-lying areas, including the airport, and an increase in severe weather events, with a disproportionate impact on lower income families.

Government engaged in a community consultation over the summer on the new Electricity Act. Greenrock contributed to this process and looks forward to the immediate establishment of the proposed Electricity Regulatory Authority. We hope that the following have been included:

  1. Environmental externalities should be costed into every electricity investment decision – the pollution and GHG emissions associated with continued fossil-fuel use will have an impact on Bermuda, and so “least cost” electricity should include these costs.
  2. Standardized Power Purchase Agreements [PPAs] should be finalized immediately to facilitate non-traditional energy sources – likely to be lower cost and lower impact than fossil-fuels
  3. The Regulatory Authority should establish a public repository for all relevant data from all stakeholders, with public access, to increase transparency, facilitate investment and build trust in the process.

Greenrock is proud of its Eco-Schools program, which is part of an international programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education. Earlier this year, in our first Eco-Schools Award Ceremony, we recognised the efforts of ten participating schools. We look forward to continuing this excellent program with the support of our sponsors.

Part of Eco-Schools includes truly integrating notions of sustainability into the school curriculum. This saves money today and puts us all in a better position for the future. We hope the Throne Speech places a greater emphasis on sustainability in the education system and its curriculum.

Another program that Greenrock delivers, in partnership with HSBC, is the Water Explorers Programme. This is a fun, student-led and action packed programme for students, focusing on developing greater water sustainability. As the Sustainable Development Plan called for a 20-year sustainable water strategy, with the launch of the Water Explorers programme earlier this year, we hope this Throne Speech delivers on this commitment.

Sustainability includes both social and economic aspects, as well as environmental, and to that end Greenrock, conducted a pilot “Savings for Seniors” programme. This sought to assist seniors in need by providing more energy efficient lights or water heater timers. This is an effective way of assisting Bermuda’s seniors while reducing our Bermuda’s environmental footprint. We hope the Throne Speech includes support for similar green initiatives that benefit those most in need.

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Category: All, Environment, News, Politics

Comments (29)

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  1. aceboy says:

    Climate change is a highly debatable subject. Pollution control, not climate change focus.

    Too much data manipulation and special interests involved in the climate change issue.

    • George says:

      Yah,yah mmmmmm………… only more than half of the world’s Governments are meeting at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP21) in December because some serious decisions need to be made about addressing the issue but hey don’t let us get distracted by that small fact! Let’s bumble along as we normally do with the blinders on and our heads in the sand denying the issue cause we ‘aink’ got anything to lose right………….only a large proportion of our Island which is within 10ft of the high tide mark and could be affected by the forecast sea level rise, never mind the increased intensity of storms, changes to the Gulf Stream (which will affect our climate directly) etc. etc. Hey Aceboy…… um gotta boat, bet you do to right…… we’ll just float right outta her while the rest of um cling to de Rock right?!

      • aceboy says:

        Or, we could sit like little birds and swallow the whole climate change scam we see going on.

        What is it this year? An ice age or global warming?

        • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

          Shepole will remain Sheople bruh…its a shame but hey…They will wake up one day but it will be only to their demise.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          OK , I need a little help here.

          You’re saying .

          A) The climate/weather is NOT changing at all
          B) The climate/weather IS changing but it’s purely a natural phenomenon
          C) The climate/weather IS changing because of all the stuff we’ve pumped into the environment / atmosphere in the last 300 or so years
          D) Yeah , we sure messed everything up but we’ll try to stay in denial . It’s too late to do anything about it now anyway .

          First choice (A) is redundant because I know sure as hell that the weather here now is very different than it was 45-50 years ago as do most others .

          • jt says:

            Climate and weather are not the same thing.

            • Robbie T Robot says:

              Where do you think climate comes from? How many outcomes are possible for just one weather event, then thousands over an area of land, in just one day, and then over 10, 20, 100 years?

              Those events create climate. I find it troubling that you were unaware of that. You do not get climate without many, many, weather events. Perhaps you need to open your mind and perform basic critical thinking.

              Proper climate modelling should calculate all those weather events and not just perform regression analysis on data that has been modified and then the extrapolation of that data, without considering real world factors, like oceans absorbing heat.

          • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

            Climate/weather is changing.
            It’s always changing.

            Have our industrialised chemical output changed the weather?
            To some degree I suspect, but the question is how much.

            Mankind has only been here for a very, very short period of time in the timeline of the planet. We have only been industrialised and tracking weather/climate for an incredibly short period of the time we’ve been on the planet. So, a short time within a short time.

            This basically means we really have no clue what the climate cycle of the planet actually is. Or how long. Or how much we’re actually changing anything, if at all.

            • jt says:

              Recently been reported that the Antarctic ice sheet is expanding. Hmmmm.

              • Toodle-oo says:

                And next week there’ll be photos supplied by NASA showing that it’s smaller than it’s ever been !

                • Ed Case says:

                  People who are ignorant on this subject should go and see the exhibit at the Aquarium proving that the sea level was three hundred and sixty feet lower just eighteen thousand years ago. The sea level rise in the last century with all the emission we currently give off, is less than average. Check it out if you don’t believe me. Climate change is used as a political tool only. Disgusting politics as usual.

                  • Toodle-oo says:

                    So do we keep pumping all of these emissions into the atmosphere without a care in the world ?
                    I’m pretty sure that there is unquestionably a change in global weather patterns and on top of that we know beyond a doubt that greenhouse gasses can influence the warming of the planet.
                    I’ve always believed that the people in denial who call it all ‘politics’ are the ones least willing to make a change in their consumption habits.

                    Not too long before his unfortunate passing I had a conversation with the late Teddy Tucker on the subject . It was most eye opening and would maybe even get the ‘know it alls’ (know nothings) something to seriously ponder.

                    • Rhonnie aka Blue Familiar says:

                      No, we don’t keep pumping all the emissions into the atmosphere. There is something to be said for trying to live healthier in all facets of human life.

                      And I don’t ascribe to the whole climate-change fuss as being about politics, though there is certainly a percentage that is.

                      I think it’s about human arrogance in that with so little information we ascribe ourselves a huge impact.

                      The reality is… we’re not actually worried about the planet itself. We’re worried about our ability to survive as it changes.

                      We should be worrying far more about what we’re doing to ourselves.

      • kangoocar says:

        Absolute nonsense!!! Greenrock and its local socialist in chief ( Starling) continuesly spew nonsense, why do they and those that think like them always suggest and support silly things like charging money for things like, one use bags, but never state were and how the money will be spent after it has been taken from you???
        These scaremongers on the environment are more times wrong than correct, I notice lately they are being a little quite on this global warming nonsense they have spread, because it actually has been overall colder in the last few years worldwide???
        These types and the likes of Al Gore ( former democratic Vice President of the US) have made $$ hundreds of MILLIONS from the gullible!!! Take good ole Gore for instance, he would fly all the world in a private jet preaching about how bad our carbon emissions are to the gullible but he himself would not fly on a commercial jet like we do with 200 other people therefore sharing the carbon emissions from the plane?? Also, he lived in his own house that was so large that it actually gives off more carbon emissions than an entire normal US three block niebourhood of homes!!!

      • Robbie T Robot says:

        George, yet somehow, new TAXES will magically solve a bogus problem. Explain that to everyone. While you are at it, how many climate research papers have you actually read?

    • Onion Juice says:

      Dint see no mention of Bermuda Green.

  2. paperboy says:

    This are wonderful aspirations and they generate some background questions about Greenrock.

    How many people in our community are represented in this Greenrock statement? When we read articles titled Greenrock Says or announcements like this press release does it represent 10′s of, 100′s of, or 1000′s of Bermuda residents? It appears to be a very small board of only four individuals and I would be interested in knowing the size of their membership. In addition, how is the Greenrock board and membership representational of our community composition?

    Community influence is earned when you represent, vision, voters and funders – how does Greenrock measure up?

  3. Terry says:

    Well there goes the 24th May road race.
    No plastic bottles?

    Coca Cola and Sprite will be really pissed off.

    Jonathan has taken over.
    Next………A social revolution.

    No more parties, functions, limited driving, birthdays and balloons.


    • jeremy deacon says:

      or just maybe a green revolution? :)

    • Varied says:

      Someone’s a tad obsessed with Mr. Starling

      • Terry says:

        If your referring to me then please expand.

        I hate Communist for a start.
        Await a reply.

  4. Zevon says:

    He always comes across as such total PITA.

  5. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    The plastic bottle thing is a little over the top, how about trying more hardline recycling initiative for that. Maybe a return deposit to enhance that.

    The rest, lids, stirrers etc, can be done with biodegradable/edible options that are becoming more available.

    It’s something that could be phased in over time.

    Please… PLEASE… get off the marine reserve nonsense. We don’t need a marine reserve. We NEED the means to police the legislation already in place, so how about Greenrock and the other pro marine reserve people stop talking and start fundraising/donating money towards doing this. Talk is nothing more than talk.

    Single use bags are rarely single use in my experience. Handy things for many purposes and very reusable. That aside, how about biodegrable options. Always preferred paper myself. Yes, I usually use a canvas or similar bag but still forget at times. So.

    I hope Greenrock continues it’s good work with educating the population. Just remember, try to stick to more mainstream things and don’t go off into fanatic-land, because that’s when people stop paying attention.

  6. bluebird says:

    If you are old enough you will remember we were all going to “FREEZE TO DEATH”IN THE 1970″s.
    I believe in climate change,” The climate will get warmer the climate will get colder,I believe in climate change.
    The sea level in Bermuda has risen by (2) feet in the last 400 years, and can be measured.
    The sea level rises in Bermuda an average of 6″per 100 years.
    That is six inches per one hundred years.
    Our DEBT is rising much faster than the tides in Bermuda.

  7. bluebird says:

    This person from Greenock is just as bad as that one from BEST, they will do all they can to cost the TAX-PAYER money that they have to work and earn unlike those whom are Blood-Suckers.
    The blood-suckers produce nothing and consume TAX-PAYER dollars.We are even borrowing $220Million a year to feed them beside $500,000.00 a day to pay interest on the money that has already been wasted .

  8. bluebird says:

    Don’t mean to disappoint those that are waiting for the oceans to rise 10feet by they will have to wait 2,000 years at the same rate of the last 400 years.

  9. Zzzzz says:

    Fully support the above initiatives particularly those that will to reduce the amount of plastic going into the environment.

    Please press on Greenrock.

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