Should Scotland follow the example of Bermuda to help save the planet and benefit human health?

Scotland may not have the great weather of Bermuda, but it has more in common with the UK Overseas Territory than meets the eye.

Both places are surrounded by the sea, the North Atlantic, and are home to a diverse fauna and spectacular landscapes.

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They also share the goal of moving away from fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting biodiversity.

In an exclusive interview for Scotland on Sunday, Bermuda Premier David Burt discusses the common problems facing the two nations and what each can learn from the other.

“Bermuda has been a hub for innovation and sustainability for years,” he said.

“We share with Scotland a desire to innovate in renewable energy, in our case using the sun and the tides, to become carbon neutral over time and radically reduce our carbon footprint in the next decade.”

In an exclusive interview for Scotland on Sunday, Bermuda Premier David Burt discusses the common problems facing the two nations and what each can learn from the other. “We share with Scotland a desire to innovate in renewable energy, in our case using the sun and the tides, to become carbon neutral over time and radically reduce our carbon footprint in the next decade,” he said.

Bermuda is one of the most prosperous places in the world, a prosperous financial center with a booming tourism industry.

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So it may come as a surprise that each household is only allowed one car, with a size restriction – a rule that has been in place since cars were first allowed there in 1946 – and there is a maximum speed limit of around 22mph.

Meanwhile, visitors are not allowed to drive at all, except in small electric rental vehicles or low-powered mopeds, and are encouraged to use buses or taxis.

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Even though Bermuda is one of the most prosperous places in the world with a very high standard of living, each household can only have one car, with a size restriction. Visitors are not allowed to drive at all, except for small electric rental vehicles or low powered mopeds. Image: Getty Images

Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and gasoline and diesel vehicles also create toxic air pollution.

So could Scotland take a leaf out of Bermuda’s book by restricting car ownership and vehicle leasing?

Dr. Richard Dixon, an environmental activist and consultant who has worked on air pollution and traffic emissions issues for many years, believes it could be a viable option.

“This is an interesting idea that we should seriously consider,” he said.

Bermuda’s leaders believe lessons can be learned from Scotland’s experience in renewable energy, particularly wind and tidal power, while the two nations share a commitment to safeguarding the marine environment. Image: Getty Images

“Most second cars spend much of their time rusting on the street and costing money, or adding to congestion when they are occasionally in motion.

“Add to that the energy and climate emissions tied to making cars in the first place and the space they take up on our street, and it makes sense to phase them out.

“Restricting urban households to a maximum of one car would reduce pollution and congestion, and make our towns and cities more pleasant places to be.”

And Bermuda may also get some advice from Scotland, according to its leaders.

Deputy First Minister and Environment Minister Walter Roban said: “The North Atlantic is a strategic maritime trust that we and Scotland share, from our shared interests in renewable energy, fisheries and biodiversity.

Bermuda is one of the most prosperous places in the world, a prosperous financial center with a booming tourism industry. People are drawn to the UK Overseas Territory for its famous sandy beaches, turquoise seas, sunny weather and wildlife, not to mention its favorable tax laws and high standard of living. Image: Getty Images

“We can learn from Scotland’s wind and tide research and our shared desire to keep blue water fisheries sustainable in the long term.”

“Scotland and Bermuda share a fine tradition,” added Mr. Burt.

“And just like in Scotland, we are committed to making sure the move to a low-carbon society is a just transition.”

One fifth of Bermuda’s seas are protected.

It has committed to reducing emissions by 85 per cent by 2030 and is working towards the UK’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Moves are underway to make public transport fully electric by 2030.

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