Plans for climate change resilience emerge in SPS

| 28/07/2021 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton addresses Parliament

(CNS): With Premier Wayne Panton at the helm of the PACT Government, Cayman’s environmental and conservation activists will be hoping to see concrete policies being rolled out as soon as possible to begin reversing the trend of over-development and building resilience to the impending impacts of climate change. In his closing remarks after presenting the Strategic Policy Statement earlier this month, Panton set out a number of proposals that could begin to make a fundamental difference regarding what he said were the historic failures of previous governments that “have been poor guardians of the natural wonders” in Cayman.

Panton’s commitment to building climate change resilience comes against a backdrop of fires and floods around the world and as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is working on a comprehensive assessment on the state of global heating. Over the next two weeks the panel will produce a report that experts said should be a “wake-up call” to world governments. The summary is expected to play an important role in guiding global leaders as the UK hosts COP26 in Glasgow in November to deal with critical climate questions.

While Cayman’s contribution to global emissions is negligible, the impact on these islands will be significant, especially with regards to rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

The premier said the PACT government will establish a sustainability and climate change task force, update and adopt the 2011 climate change policy, ensure that climate change policies are included in development laws, create a climate change trust to fund climate change policy, change the planning fee structure, review and revise the national development plan and amend existing laws to regulate construction in the dynamic beach zone.

“We turned a blind eye to over-development, over-fishing, over-population and kept aiming for more, more, more. More people. More buildings. More cars,” he said as he promised to guide the Cayman Islands through a sea change on environmental and climate issues.

The government is committing to raising duty on items that are not environmentally friendly, enacting stiffer fines and penalties for environmental violations and limit the sale of crown lands.

“We will also re-plant buffer zones that have been damaged and ensure the protection of existing mangroves, which act as natural carbon sinks,” the premier said. “To protect against future environmental destruction, we will continue the purchase of land, especially beach lands, for public usage and the benefit of generations of Caymanians to come.”

During his address Panton signalled a very different approach to development and called out the opposition leader for his comments during the SPS response. He accused Roy McTaggart of lecturing him on the idea that there is not a binary choice between development and protection of the environment.

“I have always maintained that we support sustainable development, and that must at its core mean that you find the right balance in how you develop and even where you develop… The perception of his government is that their approach was supporting development at any cost; the cruise port being one such example,” he added.

Controlling development is not the only area that the government plans to address. Panton also outlined policies to tackle pollution and roll out more renewable energy solutions with additional funding.

“This includes funding for solar and other renewable energies, incorporating the provision of micro loans to assist with conversion to renewable energy,” he said, adding that the change to planning fees would also pave the way for smaller, more energy efficient homes. He said the new government would increase the number of solar farms through public-private partnership and upgrade government facilities to use renewable energy.

Speaking about Cayman’s dependence on fossil fuels and the problem of transport creating a relatively large carbon footprint, he said PACT would promote the electrification of transport and reduce the number of second-hand cars being imported largely from Japan, increase the number of electric charging stations and promote the use of electric vehicles in the public transport system. He also confirmed that PACT would fully implement the National Energy Policy.

“For all residents, including this and future generations of Caymanians, to understand the importance of sustainability, we will build awareness and understanding of climate change through increased environmental education in schools and an integrated public education campaign on the effects of climate change,” he said, adding that PACT also had plans to offer incentive programmes to encourage recycling and reduce waste and bolster food security efforts.

“For the first time in our history we have a ministry focused on sustainability and recognising the reality and impacts of climate change on our islands,” he said. We have put a lot of thought into shaping a sustainable future for the Cayman Islands and consequently for the Caymanian people… and as the minister with direct responsibility for this area, I am looking forward to guiding our Islands through this ‘sea change’ in our approach to sustainability, with the valued support of my ministerial colleagues,” Panton told Parliament.

See the full speech in the CNS Library or watch it on CIGTV below:

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Climate Change, Science & Nature

Comments (34)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    IPCC stands for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change. For the climate change deniers, please take a moment to read the IPCC Report that was mentioned in this article below.

    The following link is the Small Islands Regional Fact Sheet:

  2. Anonymous says:

    Climate change is another over sensationalized boogeyman that politicians use to justify extravagent spending.

    Even if it does exist in the magnitude they’re describing, does anyone truly believe politicians can fix it? They can barely provide basic services…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the burning of fossil fuels contribute to damage to the environment and, of course, to depletion of the said fuel eventually. I’m as willing as most to embrace electric vehicles but lithium is a natural element which is harvested by severe mining practices and a century from now, there will be a global shortage of lithium to power the large demand for electric vehicles and electronic devices.

    Hydrogen power may be the true power source of the future. H2O emissions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where do you think the electricity comes from when you plug your electric car in? And where does the electricity come from for harvesting hydrogen?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Unless you plan on introducing a nuclear plant in Cayman, electric cars burn fossil fuel to charge!!!

    Critical thinking is dead, mindless moronic Workness and idiotic platitudes are in.

    • Sunrise says:

      To 1:32 – Ever heard of solar charging? Maybe, I am wrong, but where is the fossil fuel in solar power? Mr. Premier, I salute you and the group that you are leading sir!! I support you 100% on this effort to reduce carbon footprint and keep Cayman as a leader in the fight for sustainability. It is about time that we had great representation for our little islands!! As we caymanians say; enough respect due!! Thanks for standing up against the goliaths and you will surely be proud in the end of your accomplishments.

      • Anonymous says:

        You going to turn the island into a solar panel?? Do you know how many panels you need to do a full charge on a single car in any reasonable time frame? There is thing called science you may want to look into

        • Sunrise says:

          To 4:09 – Yes I have, and science have proven that it is possible! You can charge an electric car in the same amount of time with solar panels than you can with grid power. 95% of my house runs off solar power and it works beautiful. 17 years now and not one power outage yet!! Maybe we should use science and improve Cayman!! Thanks for your suggestion though!

          • Anonymous says:

            This is the Real science:

            A solar panel has roughly 300 Watt hours:


            How Many Panels Do You Need?

            As mentioned above, the specific number of panels needed will depend on the size of your electric car’s battery. For this case, however, let’s take the standard Tesla Model S that has a 75 kWh battery.

            First, we need to consider the amount of energy that an individual solar panel is producing. The energy production of a solar panel is dependent on its material, size, efficiency, and a few other factors.

            A typical, 250-watt solar panel will produce around 30-42.5 kWh of AC per month. To be safe, let’s take the minimum to give us a conservative estimate.

            If one, low-end solar panel can produce approximately 1 kWh a day of AC electricity, that means you would need an astounding 75 solar panels to produce enough electricity to fuel your Tesla Model S to 100% capacity from 0% each day.

            Luckily, the average driver travels 37 miles per day, which translates to about 12 kWh of electricity. So, a more realistic number would be 12 solar panels. Remember, this is also a conservative estimate, so if your solar panels are high efficiency, the number of panels may drop even lower. Also, if you drive less than 30 miles per day, the number of required panels will decrease drastically.

            Since most solar panel systems include around 25 to 30 solar panels, this figure is very realistic for prospective solar panel owners and EV owners.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ever heard of Ocean Thermal Energy? Guess not since it’s still buried in the OfReg “For Consultants to Sort Out” pile.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Pie in the sky stuff from Premier Waffle. I’d really like to see him go up against the developers. They will focus their resources on removing him in four years or maybe less if Mac has anything to do with it.

  6. Anon says:

    Sticking to my second hand Japanese petrol cars! The process of building electric cars does damage to the environment mainly making these huge lithium batteries!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Priorities. Not reopening… Cayman fixing the global climate comes first. Oh, and of course LGBTQ affairs…

  8. Anonymous says:

    sounds like more plans about making plans…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Climate change is real, it’s happening.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I hope this means that Wayne will stop the over water resort in Little Cayman

  11. Anonymous says:

    Without development the Cayman Islands are done. Premier Alden please come back!

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably means you are done, so start packing, save your money and buy a ticket off this planet so you can screw up another world.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lgbt rights, climate change, transparency are all things that Wayne campaigned on. What about the other PACT members ? Where are their wish lists ? Are they being bullied by the payer of the piper ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    What is the carbon footprint of a 65’ Hatteras? Asking for a friend.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Border closed, no money for feel good vote pandering horseshit.

  15. Anonymous says:

    All sounds good on paper. Let’s see how long before it’s actually implemented. They should also examine the cost of purchasing a vehicle from local dealers, the cost of materials, the disparity in planning requirements / enforcement on commercial and residential properties. And also the current cap being placed on solar use by CUC.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Long overdue but the big (money bag) developers and their PPM puppets will want your head Mr. Premier, please be careful. It is time to rein it in for a while and get the country back on track, then look at what we can handle and what we actually need without letting everything get destroyed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.