Politics

House: call to explore algae farming

  • Pressing the issue: Bermudian high school students protest against climate change on Church Street on Friday, part of a weekly event worldwide (Photograph by Blaire Simmons).
  • Progressive MP: Dennis Lister III (File photograph)

Bermuda should invest in algae farms to help fight climate change, a Progressive Labour Party MP backbencher urged.

Dennis Lister III said that the island should look at “exploring algae cultivation as a means of combating this imminent issue”.

He added: “Algae proves to be a sufficient source in combating, and even reversing, the effects of climate change, as it not only absorbs carbon dioxide, but also works as an alternate production resource and food source.”

The comments came during the Motion to Adjourn in the House of Assembly on Friday.

Mr Lister told MPs that the problem of global warming could be accelerating.

He highlighted figures that showed the 20 warmest years on record had all occurred since 1995.

Mr Lister added: “The five warmest years have all been in this decade.”

He said that rising temperatures had led to rising sea levels and that “eventually, big coastal cities and Bermuda, will be underwater”.

Mr Lister said that when properly used algae was “up to four times more efficient than a tree at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere”.

He added: “That means that while we are learning to reduce carbon emissions and augment our consumption patterns, we can start to make big reductions in atmospheric carbon.

“When wielded correctly, it could make city carbon negative without changing current production or consumption patterns.”

Mr Lister said that algae could also be used for biofuels — “a more sustainable alternative to carbon-producing fossil fuels”.

He added: “Algae has been known to produce as much as 5,000 biofuel gallons from a single acre in one year.”

Mr Lister said that the use of algae for biofuels had been explored by the United States Government during the gasoline crisis in the 1970s, and that oil companies and venture capital groups were at present conducting research focused on algae.

He highlighted that a protest by schoolchildren over environmental concerns had taken place on Church Street, in Hamilton, that day.

Mr Lister said policies related to climate change most affected youngsters. He added: “The youth-led movement is building a coalition of first-time voters prioritising climate change.”