Premier Speaks At ‘Island Of Hope’ Event

December 5, 2023 | 25 Comments

Premier  David Burt spoke at the Island Innovation and Climate Action Summit’s Island of Hope at COP28 earlier today [Dec 5].

A Government spokesperson said, “Another busy day for the Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, who spoke at the Island Innovation and Climate Action Summit’s Island of Hope at COP28 earlier today [Dec. 5].

“Premier Burt and Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Walter Roban are currently in the UAE participating in the United Nations COP28, the most important environmental global gathering of the year. The Premier is also participating in regional economic events.

Premier David Burt Bermuda Dec 5 2023 (1)

“Today’s event brought together key global representatives from Small Island States and climate-vulnerable regions to discuss climate adaption, resilience and ecosystem restoration.

“The Premier was among several industry experts who spent the day sharing inspirational stories, transferable solutions, capacity building strategies and examples of best practices to an audience of regional and international stakeholders from governments, NGOs, academia, business and finance.

“In an impactful keynote address, Premier Burt shared that Bermuda has been “proactive in its fight to protect and preserve our socio-economic systems”.

Premier David Burt Bermuda Dec 5 2023 (2)

The Premier said, “Bermuda is being recognized globally for developing blue economy programmes, leveraging local renewable energy opportunities, and collaborating with other international partners to identify new pathways towards resilience-building. Today was an opportunity for me to expand on our innovative and pioneering leadership in the global fight against climate change.”

The Premier’s speech begins about 1 hour into the video below:

“The Premier also participated in regional media engagement today and conducted an interview with Insure TV. The Premier’s full keynote address at the Island of Hope at COP28 is attached.

“The Premier returns to Bermuda on December 7. The Deputy Premier returns to the island on December 10.”

The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Today, as the title of this conference suggests, we gather in collective hope that the solutions and work we discuss here and throughout COP 28 will bring about positive change for our small island states and the world.

An African proverb says: “The sun does not forget a village just because it is small.” I believe these words are meaningful to us in various ways, both cautionary and encouraging. Firstly, it cautions us of the vast power of nature. Even though we are small, this does not mean we are immune to the impacts of climate change that we already see occurring worldwide.

On the contrary, the world’s small islands recognise our vulnerability to climate change. We experience its effects often earlier and more intensely than many others around the globe, bearing the brunt of rising sea levels and increasingly frequent and severe weather events.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly importantly, these words remind us that our size does not limit our potential for success and the impact we can have. Small island states, like my home, Bermuda, play a pivotal role in providing climate solutions, access to climate finance, and critical platforms for developing and testing new technology to meet the world’s evolving needs.

That is why it is suitable for us to have hope. Here at Island Hope and throughout COP 28, we are not just talking about what we will do but also sharing the work we are already doing to provide tangible solutions for our countries and the world.

In Bermuda, sustainability is in our DNA. We are an island 700 miles from the nearest land mass, with no access to fresh water. Our centuries-old relationship with the ocean to our white limestone roofs that collect our rainwater every day. And we continue to do our part and work to contribute to our planet.

We have installed solar on government buildings, commissioned the first utility-scale 6 MW solar farm at the LF Wade International Airport, and are home to the Caribbean’s first waste-to-energy plant at our Tynes Bay facility.

As the only land within the Sargasso Sea, we have been champions for the conservation of this unique ecosystem for the past 12 years, beginning with the Hamilton Declaration [named after our capital], which committed five governments, including the US and UK, to joint action and since then, a further five governments have signed up.

The Bermuda Institute for Ocean Studies [BIOS] is an internationally recognised centre for ocean science, atmospheric research and environmental monitoring and mapping. Since 1903, this renowned institution has provided resources and education to communities, Governments, and environmental organisations to help make the world a better place.

One of their most important works is the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series or BATS, which has collected data on the ocean’s physical, biological and chemical properties since 1988.

This research has proven invaluable in ocean and atmospheric science by producing data that helps us better understand global climate change and the ocean’s responses to variations in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Bermuda has been doing our part, and we will continue to do so now and into the future.

The Bermuda Difference White Paper, released just days ago by our Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Walter Roban, highlights our ambitious plans for the years ahead.

Bermuda is the custodian of the largest maritime area in the world, some 460,000 sq km of ocean. We have been leaders in conservation since 1620 when the first laws were passed in the Beruda Assembly to protect sea turtles.

Our commitment to marine conservation extends to the UK’s Blue Shield oceanic protection programme, highlighting our role as a crucial member of the UK’s Overseas Territories, which collectively account for 85% of the UK’s biodiversity.

The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme, launched in 2018, is a further testament to our dedication to sustainable ocean resource management. This program will develop a comprehensive, enforceable Marine Spatial Plan to sustainably manage our Exclusive Economic Zone. This plan includes a commitment to fully protect 20% of Bermuda’s waters as a no-take fisheries replenishment zone, supporting our vision of a thriving Blue Economy.

Bermuda has introduced strategies for the restoration of seagrass and mangroves in addition to increasing our protected species to include sharks and manta rays to better manage imbalances in Bermuda’s marine ecosystems.

And we will not just stop with protecting our oceans but are addressing our contribution to carbon emissions. We have already begun to replace our entire bus fleet with 70 new electric vehicles, which is 70% of our fleet and are ahead of our target for a fully electric fleet by 2025.

We are installing more EV charging stations to help decarbonise commercial and private transport and improve energy efficiency in construction and residential development.

This work will support our goal of an 85% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 and reaching net zero by 2050.

The Government of Bermuda is introducing an island-wide tree-planting strategy to remove invasive species, increase shade, and improve biodiversity. We have developed a strategy for eliminating single-use plastics, which has now been released for public consultation.

Finally, one of our most significant contributions to the fight against climate change will come from the leadership in insurance.

Bermuda’s and reinsurance sector is aiming to be the home for climate risk finance, which will address critical needs in key markets and close the global protection gap while creating new opportunities around the globe.

Bermuda is already the world’s risk capital and the most important property catastrophe market in the world, providing insurance to policyholders and insurance companies through reinsurance in high-risk zones for flooding, storms and wildfires.

No other place on earth has the same concentration of climate risk expertise and innovation built on 50 years of experience in risk management. Bermuda-based companies underwrite a third of the world’s catastrophe reinsurance, and hold close to $400 billion in insurance assets.

As we have with tropical storms, wildfire, flood and other climate-driven insured risks, Bermuda can play a crucial role in helping high-risk regions bolster their financial resilience to the rising tide of climate peril and become the world’s climate risk capital.

This is not just a business strategy. This is part of our tangible and comprehensive commitment to the global fight against climate change that Bermuda has been leading for some time.

Bermuda understands the challenges we face as small island states, but we also recognise our strengths and capabilities, and we will utilise those strengths to collaborate with other island states while we continue to do our part.

So, I hope today it is clear that Bermuda is not just here to listen but also to share our expertise, our plans, and how we are acting. We are determined to protect our ecosystem, reduce our carbon footprint, provide climate risk finance to the world and do our part to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Therefore, I call on all of us here today, as Small Island States, to do what we have always done in areas like business, tourism, and athletics to punch above our weight in our contributions to our environment for the future generations of our planet.

Let us work together to champion the cause of small island states and show the global community that despite being small, our efforts and resilience are immense. We will continue to work tirelessly together towards a sustainable future for all.

Thank you.

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Comments (25)

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  1. Hilarious! says:

    Dear Premier Burt,

    Please give us your definition of “climate change.”

    Please give us your definition of “biodiversity.”
    It would be fantastic if you could produce the optimal numbers for the balance of people, plants, wildlife, etc, for “biodiversity” over a given area in Bermuda by say postal code.

    Thank you.

  2. Steve says:

    More blah blah blah from Burt

  3. Steve says:

    More blah blah blah from Burt. Island of Hope? Not here anymore

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The Premier was among several industry experts …”

    Would someone please tell me what subject our Premier is an expert on?

    • question says:

      Selling home-made rum swizzle online in second-hand bottles?
      Having weekend-long champagne parties with glamourous ‘youtube influencers’?

    • SSDD says:

      Hot Air….

  5. comfortably numb says:

    Ace Boy must have hired a speaking coach: not using the phrase ‘of which’ incorrectly every few words. Also a lack of ‘it’s important to note’ and ‘but what I can say’. Now someone has to introduce him to Zoom so he and Woban don’t have to pay out all that money on first class travel, limousine service and $1000+ rooms.

    • Steve says:

      Can’t see that happening using Zoom.
      Bert & Ernie have no skills in modern technology.

  6. Kim Smith says:

    It all sounds so good on paper…

  7. Kathy says:

    In my opinion, this speech just proves what an incredible liar our Premier is. He has done NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING in his term to get Bermuda anywhere near closer to renewable energy.

  8. Vote for me says:

    In view of the increasing numbers of fires that EV or more correctly ECE (external combustion engine) let’s hope DPT don’t keep all the electric buses parked close together overnight. One incident and the bus fleet will be gone.
    Leads on to what is the PLP definition of “net zero”?

    • Hilarious! says:

      In California, three major city fire departments are discussing charging owners $10,000+ to put out an EV fire. More if the $4,000+ firesuits become contaminated and must be replaced. The decision is being closely watched by fire departments across the USA.

  9. Steve says:

    Can’t see that happening using Zoom.
    Bert & Ernie have no skills in modern technology.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      And Cookie Monster has not electricity in his trash can, so no technology there either

  10. hey says:

    “We have installed solar on government buildings, commissioned the first utility-scale 6 MW solar farm at the LF Wade International Airport”

    So, why have our electric bills gone up? Did we the taxpayer give land away for this, did we the taxpayer help fund this operation? Who is benefitting from the use of our land, as it is not the taxpayer, the electric bills have sky rocketed.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Did we the taxpayer give land away for this”

      Roughly 19 acres of land at L.F. Wade International Airport, an area known as “the Finger”, is now full of solar panels. I do not recall any announcement about the land being sold or rented, so draw your own conclusion.

      For the sake of clarity, the Finger has been off limits to the public for the whole of my lifetime, so the public has not really “lost” the benefit of that Bermuda land

      • hey says:

        Just checked , Saturn Power a Canadian Company own this project.

        what we Bermudians get from it is now lower bills but the ability to say we enjoy the benefits of clean renewable energy. hmmmmm I am enjoying nothing from it.

        Roban said when the finger was finished:
        “the people of Bermuda enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy for decades to come.”

    • Hilarious! says:

      If the wind farm gets built, our sky-high electric bills will force people to choose between electricity or food to feed the family.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        “If the wind farm gets built” it should be right next to Sessions House, where there is more hot air than intelligent debate.

  11. Steve says:

    Ok forget about Bert and Ernie. How about Goofy and Mr Magoo.No idea from the top.

  12. Truth is killin' me... says:


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