The public will recall my recent announcement that in November, I will be attending the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow or COP26, held in Glasgow, Scotland. I now wish to share some information on our role in the event.
Some of you may know that Bermuda is Chair of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association by way of our London Office. And so, in partnership with the UK Government, we will be leading the Association’s Governments at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
The United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association is the convening body for all fourteen Overseas Territories. Under Bermuda’s chairmanship, COP26 is a vital opportunity to showcase our work in tackling climate change and protecting our unique marine and terrestrial environments.
As the highlight of Bermuda’s involvement in COP26, in the UK Pavilion during COP26 Nature Day, I will lead an event entitled “Our Vision for Healthy Oceans”. The event will be thematically focused on raising awareness, protecting our oceans and how the Overseas Territories are taking action against climate change.
Through our official presence in the UK Pavilion, I will showcase the precious and vulnerable natural environments of the Overseas Territories and generate high-level engagement to support our efforts to ensure adequate protection of these precious resources for future generations.
We will engage directly with representatives of countries signed to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Civil Societies, global media, and critical stakeholders in this space. The Overseas Territories, including Bermuda, represent the world’s sixth-largest marine estate and over 90% of the UK’s biodiversity. We are vital to the United Kingdom meeting its pledge to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
Governments of the UK’s Overseas Territories are custodians of internationally essential habitats which span the globe, from the Antarctic to the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. All Territories are vulnerable and will be among the first in line to experience the potential impact of climate change. Overseas Territory Governments are at the forefront of renewable energy, nature-based solutions, adaptation and resilience, ocean protection, and climate finance.
Bermuda is a leader in this space. We are turning away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy. We are developing bans on single-use plastics on land, starting reforestation projects, moving to electric vehicles, tackling invasive species, increasing the availability of solar power, producing a water and sewage solution, and protecting our coast. We are also developing wind power at sea and creating a marine spatial plan to protect and manage our ocean resources. We are also ensuring sustainable fisheries and protecting endangered species while bringing ecosystems back into balance.
It is clear that as a jurisdiction, Bermuda is at the forefront of climate change and taking meaningful action.
Bermuda’s presence at COP26 will represent highly diverse demographics from small communities scattered across the globe. As the lead UK Overseas Territory at COP26, we will call the international community’s attention to our efforts, showcasing our country as a forward-thinking jurisdiction at the forefront of climate change. As Bermuda’s environment is a vital part of the world’s sixth-largest marine estate, we must establish Bermuda’s leadership and innovation in this space.
We are working to highlight Bermuda’s successes and innovation in climate change mitigation to a high-level audience alongside our fellow Overseas Territories.
To that end, as the international community recognize the urgent need to address climate change now more than ever, I look forward to representing Bermuda at COP26 alongside the six other Overseas Territory delegates under the UK delegation to share our experiences and leadership.
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